The Ryder Cup heads back to European soil for the first time since 2014, as players and fans anxiously anticipate some spirited international battles to rival those from years past like the “The War on the Shore” in 1991, the miracle at Medinah Country Club in 2012 and the big U.S. win at Hazeltine in 2016. More often than not, the Ryder Cup has given us moments we will never forget.
Here are few things to look out for in Paris in this week’s 2018 tilt:
- The Ryder Cup “Rookies” – There are always some rookies on every Ryder Cup team, and this year is no different. On the U.S. side you have Justin Thomas along with captain’s picks Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau. Even though it’s the first Ryder Cup for these three, their accomplishments on the PGA Tour this season will leave them well-equipped for battle. The European rookies feature Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Alex Noren, Jon Rahm and Thorbjørn Olesen. While none of these players is considered a “rookie” on their respective tours, it will be fascinating to see how each of these players handles the Ryder Cup madness for the first time.
- The Veterans – Europe will turn to the experienced likes of Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia to help guide the first-timers and entire team through the week. The U.S. Team is loaded with longtime Ryder Cup experience from the likes of Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, all of whom figure to be leaned on heavily in pressure situations. The U.S. will also have the calming presence of Matt Kuchar as well as Zach Johnson, who’s filling the role of vice captain on this year’s squad.
- The Course – Le Golf National will be a new test to most of the players, but some played the French Open here during the summer. Thomas Bjorn, Europe’s captain, has full control over how the course is set up. Le Golf National will not allow the typical “bomb and gouge” style of play we see on tour. Needless to say, the course setup will markedly favor the Europeans’ preference.
- The Fans – At Hazeltine in 2016, the U.S. fans were rowdy to say the least. The European fans have been waiting for this moment for a long time, and you can bet that the American players will face a fired-up bunch when they tee it up first thing Friday morning. If we have learned one thing over the years it’s that the fans play a large part in the Cup.
If you’re looking to watch the Ryder Cup live, set your alarm clock early as the first match Friday morning tees it up around 2:30 a.m. EST. So grab your coffee and get ready to enjoy one of the best Ryder Cups in years.