The 2023 Ryder Cup kicks off on Friday, September 22nd at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome, Italy. The opening day of play will feature morning fourball (best ball) and afternoon foursomes (alternate shot) matches between the United States and Europe.
Morning Fourball Pairings and Tee Times
The 2023 Ryder Cup gets underway with four morning fourball matches teeing off at 8:05am local time (2:05am ET). Here are the pairings and tee times for the Day 1 morning session:
- 8:05am: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia (Europe)
- 8:21am: Scottie Scheffler/Sam Burns (USA) vs. Rory McIlroy/Shane Lowry (Europe)
- 8:37am: Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (USA) vs. Victor Perez/Guido Migliozzi (Europe)
- 8:53am: Cameron Young/Collin Morikawa (USA) vs. Matt Fitzpatrick/Tyrrell Hatton (Europe)
The star-studded matchup between Spieth/Thomas and Rahm/Garcia will kick off the Ryder Cup in front of what is expected to be a massive and raucous crowd. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is paired with the red-hot Sam Burns, while Rory McIlroy teams up with his fellow Irishman Shane Lowry.
Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele look to translate their Presidents Cup success to the Ryder Cup against the European duo of Victor Perez and Guido Migliozzi. And Ryder Cup rookies Cameron Young and Collin Morikawa team up against English stars Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton.
Afternoon Foursomes Pairings and Tee Times
After a break for lunch, the players will return for the afternoon foursomes (alternate shot) matches. Here are the Day 1 afternoon pairings and start times:
- 1:05pm: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Jon Rahm/Sergio Garcia (Europe)
- 1:21pm: Cameron Young/Collin Morikawa (USA) vs. Rory McIlroy/Shane Lowry (Europe)
- 1:37pm: Scottie Scheffler/Sam Burns (USA) vs. Victor Perez/Guido Migliozzi (Europe)
- 1:53pm: Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (USA) vs. Matt Fitzpatrick/Tyrrell Hatton (Europe)
The marquee pairing of Spieth/Thomas vs. Rahm/Garcia will battle again in the alternate shot format in the afternoon. Two young American duos in Young/Morikawa and Scheffler/Burns will try to take down the European pairs of McIlroy/Lowry and Perez/Migliozzi.
And Cantlay/Schauffele vs. Fitzpatrick/Hatton figures to be a tight match between two of the best partnerships in the event. The afternoon foursomes matches will conclude the opening day of action at the 2023 Ryder Cup.
Analyzing Day 1 Pairings & Matchups
The U.S. captain Davis Love III loaded up his strongest teams for the opening sessions, with Spieth/Thomas, Scheffler/Burns and Cantlay/Schauffele all playing together. The Europeans counter with their stalwart pairing of Rahm/Garcia, as well as all-Irish and all-English pairings with McIlroy/Lowry and Fitzpatrick/Hatton.
The fourball matches should favor the Americans, with their depth in long-hitting, birdie-making duos. But the foursomes is more of a toss-up, with the Europeans’ alternate shot experience likely to keep things close.
All eyes will be on the heavyweight matchup between Spieth/Thomas and Rahm/Garcia, as these Ryder Cup legends face off twice on Day 1. The tone for the entire event could be set by who comes out on top in this star-studded pairing.
Overall, the Americans will look to get off to a hot start on home soil. But the Europeans are sending out their best partnerships as well, so Friday’s matches should be competitive and set the stage for a thrilling weekend at Marco Simone.
Home Soil Advantage
This is the first time the Ryder Cup is being held in Italy, giving the Europeans a bit of a home soil advantage with the passionate local fans behind them. The crowds at Marco Simone are expected to be massive and overwhelmingly pro-Europe. This could give their pairings an energy boost, especially in critical moments.
Six Ryder Cup rookies will make their debuts on Friday – three for each team. It’s a particularly young American squad, with Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler, Sam Burns and Cameron Young all playing in their first Ryder Cup. Europe’s rookies are Victor Perez, Guido Migliozzi and Shane Lowry. Keep an eye on how these first-timers handle the pressure.
Potential Weather Factors
The forecast calls for a chance of thunderstorms on Friday in Rome. The rain could soften up the course and make it more receptive to aggressive, birdie-friendly play. But if the storms are severe enough to halt play, it could throw off the competitors’ momentum and rhythm. Weather could be a significant X-factor on Day 1.
Top Head-to-Head Battles
Beyond just the Spieth/Thomas vs. Rahm/Garcia match, several other head-to-head battles will be must-watch on Friday. Rory McIlroy will look to lead Europe against the red-hot American duo of Scheffler/Burns. Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele have a rivalry brewing with English stars Fitzpatrick and Hatton. And Collin Morikawa and Cameron Young will try to take down Irish firepower in McIlroy and Lowry. The individual showdowns within the matches will be fierce.
Friday Sets the Tone
With only 28 total points available, the outcome of Day 1 could go a long way in determining who finally lifts the cup on Sunday. Momentum will swing significantly based on who takes the early lead. The Americans are favored on paper in fourball, while foursomes is more of a toss-up. Day 1 will set the table for the rest of the competition.