All twelve players were there, plus the captain and his 5 deputies. Europe, which will challenge the United States in the Ryder Cup from 29 September to 1 October, met in full force at Marco Simone, the Guidonia Montecelio course on the outskirts of Rome, which will host the top golf competition.
Captain Luke Donald immediately paid tribute to the two "hosts": "The Molinari brothers are two heroes of Italian golf. Francesco played and won the Ryder Cup three times, including once with his brother Edoardo, in Wales in 2010.
As vice-captains, they represent two very important figures for the Europe team and, in Rome, they will represent an engaging element for the public". Donald then explained that "today was certainly a good test. The pitch of the competition is in excellent condition, I think that number 8 is the most difficult hole to tackle.
We have an excellent team and we can count on some of the best players in the world, on young people with bright futures and other protagonists who boast important successes in Worldwide".
Ryder Cup, trials
From Donald also a thought on Ludvig Aberg, a Swedish golf talent who received the last wild card from the Englishman after his exploit in Switzerland in the Omega European Masters.
“He was number 1 in the world among amateurs and has enormous potential. Even in these first months as a professional he has shown his qualities." Tomorrow team Europe will leave Rome and head to Wentworth, England, for the BMW PGA Championship (19-22 September), the last real test before the Ryder Cup.
Ryder Cup matches include various types of match play between players chosen from the 2 teams each played over 18 holes. According to the formula now in force, the competition includes eight foursomes challenges, eight fourballs and twelve individual matches.
The winner or winning couple of each challenge gets one point for their team, in case of a draw both teams get half a point. A foursome match is a match between two pairs of golfers: the players of the same team however take turns hitting the ball.
Fourball is always a game between two pairs, but each player completes his hole independently, choosing the best result of the pair, and comparing it with that of his opponents. An individual challenge is finally a match between two golfers in which each finishes his own hole and compares his result with that of his opponent.
In all three cases, each hole is won by the team or individual with the fewest strokes, and whoever wins the most holes wins the match.