Inside Ryder Cup Day 5: Team Europe’s stunning start

Welcome to’s “Seen & Heard” video series, in which we give you an inside look at golf’s biggest events through the eyes and ears of our onsite crew. On deck this week: the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome. Let’s go!

ICYMI: Inside Ryder Cup Day 4: Predictions, reactions and local Italian vibes

ICYMI: Inside Ryder Cup Day 3: Can Team Europe reclaim the Ryder Cup this week?

ICYMI: Inside Ryder Cup Day 2: Team USA’s practice, Marco Simone’s perilous rough

ICYMI: Inside Ryder Cup Day 1: the Colosseum, pasta, early Marco Simone findings


Need a pulse check? Take 45 seconds to watch the beginning of the video above — proof that there is nothing quite like the 1st tee at the Ryder Cup.

After days — and actually, years — of anticipation, the opening shots were struck at last on Friday, and GOLF’s Sean Zak and James Colgan were there to take it all in.

rickie fowler at ryder cup
Rickie Fowler mysteriously benched for third-straight Ryder Cup session
By: Alan Bastable

“The coolest seat in golf,” Zak remarked.

“We’re in the best place in the world right now,” Colgan concurred. “The best place in the physical universe.”

Europe’s fireworks began right away, with Viktor Hovland chipping in on the 1st green for birdie, eliciting a huge reaction from the crowd.

“If his uppercut is any indication, it’s gonna be a long week for the people playing Viktor Hovland,” Colgan said.

Colgan the sage.

As we all know by now, Friday morning was a European beatdown of epic proportions — a full sweep of the foursomes session in which the American contingent seemed hopelessly outmatched.

Viktor Hovland
Another day, another European beatdown at the Ryder Cup
By: Sean Zak

“I’ve never seen so many shots that just — the best players in the world are just disgusted with immediately,” Zak commented.

The afternoon session seemed like it would be a much-needed improvement for the Americans at first, but late-match heroics from the likes of Hovland, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose meant the Europeans held a commanding 6.5-1.5 lead at the end of the first day.

Team USA has a tough task ahead.

The action continues this weekend. Want a sneak preview? You can watch the crew’s highlights from Friday at Marco Simone in the video above, or click below to see all of the GOLF’s crew behind-the-scenes coverage on our Youtube channel. Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on