“I think mentally, they were just ready for it” - Luke Donald and Team Europe reveal how they mastered the 1st hole at Ryder Cup

Italy Ryder Cup Golf
Luke Donald (Image via AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald has statistically planned out everything about the biennial event. He received a lot of appreciation from the golf world for his amazing captaincy.

Donald has trained his players to play on every hole of the Marco Simone Golf Course. He especially focused on winning the first hole.

His foursome pairings on both days had dominated the golf course over the American players. Donald admitted that it was a conscious effort to take the lead by winning on the first hole. While discussing his strategies, Donald said (via Golf Monthly):

"As a team, we knew getting off to a fast start was important. I guess the guys who were ready, they were ready on the first tee. They obviously had a clear plan for what they needed to do on the first."

He also said that the first hole was similar to the Italian's opens and revealed that golfers were mentally prepared to play on it. Adding to his statement, he said:

"It wasn’t really a strategy thing in terms of setting up the hole. The hole was very similar to what we played in the first three Italian Opens. The fairways were pinched in a little on the left. Statistically, we’re pretty similar in accuracy off the tee to the US but as a team, we talked about getting off to fast starts. I think mentally, they were just ready for it."

The European team had won all of their foursome matches on Friday and were in good form throughout the event. After three days, they finished with a score of 16.5 winning the event by five points.

"They played like superstars"- Luke Donald praises the European Ryder Cup team

Before the start of the tournament, the US team was the favourite to win the 2023 Ryder Cup. The American's have some of the best golfers in their team. 10 of their 12 players were included in the top 20 of the World Officials Golf Rankings, while the European team had more rookie players. But surprisingly Europe delivered an outstanding performance last week.

Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Robert MacIntyre, Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick auto-qualified for the Ryder Cup while captain Luke Donald selected Sepp Straka, Ludvig Aberg, Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose and Nicolai Hojgaard. The twelve golfers played incredibly well, assisting Europe in taking home the victory on home ground.

Their skipper Donald appreciated the team following their victory. He said it was a pleasure to be around his team as they played like superstars.

Donald said (via Ryder Cup):

"I'm just so happy for these 12 guys, they gave everything this week. They were a pleasure to be around. They made my life very easy and they played like superstars."

Rory McIlroy has added four points to his team's victory followed by 3.5 points by Viktor Hovland.

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Edited by Ankita Yadav
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