2023 Ryder Cup: 3 Keys to success for the United States Team in Rome

Team U.S.A. Golf Bag, 2023 Ryder Cup, Rome,Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Team U.S.A. Golf Bag, 2023 Ryder Cup, Rome,Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

After nearly two years of build-up and anticipation, the Ryder Cup has finally arrived. The 44th edition of the historic competition will be hosted on European soil with the stars of the home continent looking to avenge the historic beatdown that was inflicted upon them by the Americans back in 2021.

Captain Steve Stricker’s U.S. Team handed the Europeans their worst defeat since 1979 at the last Ryder Cup. Now it’s the turn of Zach Johnson who has been tasked with leading the Stars and Stripes to their first win on foreign soil since 1993.

While the Americans arguably hold the advantage when it comes to team depth heading into this year’s Ryder Cup, winning in Europe will be no small task with the home team eager to erase the memories of the last Ryder Cup in a hurry.

If the United States hopes to end its lengthy wait for a victory across the pond they will need to come together and demonstrate extraordinary grit and determination over three grueling days in Italy in order to keep hold of the cup. Here are three keys to success for Captain Zach Johnson’s U.S. Team.

3 keys to success for the U.S.A. at the 44th Ryder Cup

1. Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele must show up again for the U.S.

Both Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele will be making a second consecutive appearance at the Ryder Cup for the United States.

At Whistling Straits in 2021, the dynamic duo were unbeaten in Foursomes matches for the Stars and Stripes, in fact, the pair are flawless as a tandem in that format dating back to the 2019 Presidents Cup.

Combined, Cantlay and Schauffele went 6-1-1 at the last Ryder Cup and 4-1-0 at the Presidents Cup last year. Captain Johnson will be counting on both players to show up once again and they must if the United States is to end its European drought.

2. The Justin Thomas gamble must pay off.

Justin Thomas’s inclusion in this Ryder Cup certainly raised some eyebrows after what can only described as a dismal season by his standards.

JT required a wild card pick from Captain Zach Johnson after failing to qualify for the U.S. Ryder Cup team on points. Now, Thomas must reward his captain’s faith in him.

There is no denying Justin Thomas’s stellar record in this competition and that will be something that both Johnson and the rest of the U.S. team will be relying upon to continue at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club this weekend.

Thomas has compiled a terrific 6-2-1 record in Ryder Cups and he was one of the few bright spots from France in 2018 where Justin went 4-1-0 despite a comfortable win for the Europeans in the end.

With players such as Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, and Keegan Bradley all being left off the team in favor of an out-of-form Thomas, Zach Johnson took a big chance on Thomas. It’s a gamble that needs to pay off for the U.S. Ryder Cup Captain.

3. Ryder Cup rookies need to deliver

Four players will be making their Ryder Cup debut in Rome this week, and two of those four will be making their U.S. team debut at Marco Simone GC.

Max Homa and Sam Burns will both be making their first appearance in a Ryder Cup after both players debuted for the United States team at the Presidents Cup last year. Homa compiled an impressive 4-0-0 record in his debut for the Red, White, and Blue at Quail Hollow.

Coming off their wins in Majors in 2023, both Wyndham Clark and Brian Harman will be making their U.S.A. Team debut in Italy after automatically qualifying for this year’s Ryder Cup on points. After their surprise wins at the U.S. Open and Open Championship respectively, all eyes will be on Clark and Harman this weekend.

Captain Johnson and the rest of the U.S. Team will be counting on these four rookies to shine bright on the biggest stage once again and deliver in a hostile environment.

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How these four fare could go a long way in determining the outcome of this year’s competition when all is said and done on Sunday.