Who boosted their hopes of qualifying for the Ryder Cup with their performance at The Open? Team Europe and Team USA as it stands ahead of this year’s contest in Rome; Watch the Ryder Cup live from September 30-October 2 on Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 24/07/23 3:42pm
Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm have both set their sights on regaining the Ryder Cup for Team Europe this September after missing out on victory at The 151st Open.
Rahm was part of a four-way tie for second at Royal Liverpool, where Brian Harman claimed a maiden major title after a dominant six-shot victory, while McIlroy’s wait for an elusive fifth major win continues after he finished tied-sixth after a final-round 68.
McIlroy was reduced to tears during Europe’s record-breaking loss to Team USA at Whistling Straits in 2021, with the former world No 1 now focused on a strong finish to the PGA Tour season before helping Luke Donald’s side to victory at Marco Simone Golf Club.
“Confidence is high, I’m playing well, obviously, off the back of the win last week, another solid performance here,” McIlroy told Sky Sports. “I want to try to be right in there and win another FedExCup, there’s another race to Dubai to win, and obviously the Ryder Cup, which is the most important of them all.
“After what happened at Whistling Straits, personally for me, and then for the rest of the team, I don’t think we could more be more motivated to go to Rome and get that Ryder Cup back. A lot of golf to play individually and until then, but I think a lot of our attentions will turn to Rome after this.”
The European team is likely to be noticeably different to the one beaten in 2021, with five of that side now competing on the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League, although Rahm is confident that the hosts will have a strong team in Rome.
“It has been a good year for the Europeans, but what you do during the year doesn’t really matter when you go to the Ryder Cup,” Rahm said. It’s 18-hole matches. It’s about showing up that day.
“That’s why I think Europe has done a really good job in the past. We always hear about the accolades the American team always has, and they still do, and on paper they should be better, but it’s all about what you do against the man in front of you that day.
“Still very positive that you have so many of us playing good golf and up there on the leaderboards. I know we’re going to have a lot of new faces on the team and everybody wants to rectify what happened two years ago.
“With Luke’s guidance, we’re going to have a really strong team, and I’m looking forward to it, and we should have a really good chance of getting that Cup back and defending home turf.”
Team Europe as it stands
The top three players on the European Points List and the next three available on the World Points List automatic qualify when the qualification campaign ends on September 3, with Donald then having six picks to complete his line-up.
Countdown to the 2023 Ryder Cup
August 3, 2023, 11:30am
McIlroy and Rahm occupy the top two spots on the European Points List and are already guaranteed their appearances for Team Europe, although the third spot remains up for grabs with three DP World Tour events left in the qualification period.
Robert MacIntyre holds the final spot as things stand, following his runner-up finish at the Genesis Scottish Open, although Yannik Paul and Adrian Meronk are lurking close behind and Tommy Fleetwood moved up two places to sixth with his top-10 finish at The Open.
Viktor Holvand, Tyrrell Hatton are currently holding automatic spots via the World Points List, while Fleetwood edged ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick with his performance in the final men’s major of the year. Sepp Straka is also just outside the automatic spots after his runner-up finish at The Open, while Shane Lowry and Justin Rose are also well-placed in the standings.
What about Team USA?
Harman’s dominant victory has seen him jump into the automatic qualification spots and means he will likely make his debut for Team USA, having narrowly missed out on Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup appearances in the past.
World No 1 Scottie Scheffler, US Open champion Wyndham Clark and PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka are also currently in the automatic spots, with the top six after the BMW Championship on August 20 securing their places in Zach Johnson’s side.
Johnson will then have six captain’s picks to complete his side, with the 47-year-old happy with the strength of options he has to choose from ahead of his bid for a first USA victory on European soil since 1993.
“I think I’ve got a selection of riches,” Johnson said after his final round at The Open. “Again, more positives than anything. The state of American golf is great. Some of the guys that are kind of on the fringe of starting to play really well, which is awesome.
“I would prefer that my decision is really difficult. That means the guys are in a good state and in good form, which is really ultimately what’s important.”
Can Europe regain the Ryder Cup in Rome? Watch the biennial contest exclusively live from September 30-October 2 on Sky Sports.