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Players Who Could Break Into The 2023 Ryder Cup

By: | Fri 01 Oct 2021

Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography

At the time of writing, five miserable days have passed since Europe’s heavy defeat to America sent the state of Wisconsin into a frenzy I’m sure they’re currently still in the midst of.

I mean, how could they not be? The brilliance of Dustin Johnson, the precision of Collin Morikawa, the speed and power of Bryson DeChambeau and the finesse of Jordan Spieth - they were some team, huh?

Away from Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, Europe’s powerhouses failed to deliver the goods but they were up against a very good team; perhaps the best to ever compete in the biennial cup.

If we were to look forward, our immediate reaction may be to panic because the current crop of Americans who featured at Whistling Straits were not only vehemently skilled, but fairly young too.

Considering Johnson - a 37-year-old - was the oldest of the team, we could have witnessed the very start of a long adventure for the current group of 12.

However, potentially the saving grace, is that a lot can change in two years. Moreover, a lot can develop in professional golf during a two-year cycle.

For this reason alone, there is still hope that Europe can rebuild and pit 12 golfers together to snatch the iconic cup back.

Spieth was rightfully confident about the future of the American team.

“If we play like we did this week, the score will look the same over there in a couple of years; that’s what we’re here for.”

Fresh off a record victory, it’s easy to be caught up in the moment. Almost all 12 Americans were in good form, whereas one or two Europeans mirrored that form heading to Whistling Straits.

What will ultimately decide the 2023 Ryder Cup is the make-up of both teams and we believe Europe have a few prospects who are patiently awaiting to be let loose on their American counterparts.

Potential European Players

While Justin Rose or other former Ryder Cup players may make the team, we won’t be focusing on previous players in this list.

We are going to look at potential rookies for future years, how their game is currently shaping and what skills they can bring to the team event.

Rasmus Hojgaard

Rasmus Hojgaard

Age: 20

Professional wins: 5

OWGR: 84

While Viktor Hovland is commonly referred to as ‘our own Collin Morikawa’, there are a few players who are beginning to establish themselves who might pip that title from him imminently. At the age of 20, Rasmus Hojgaard is a three-time European Tour winner - besting Bernd Wiesberger in his most recent win too! The Dane is a hot prospect and considering his twin brother Nicolai secured his maiden European Tour title in September, the duo could be the first twins to feature at a Ryder Cup!

Guido Migliozzi

Age: 24

Professional wins: 5

OWGR: 67

The next Francesco Molinari? That’s what the entire continent will be hoping! At the age of 24, the young Italian has already accumulated two European Tour wins. His hard work earned him two shots at a major last season, The U.S. Open and The Open Championship. While he struggled in the latter and missed the cut, an exemplary performance at Torrey Pines saw him narrowly make the cut - and order a pizza to the site for celebration - before finishing in T4. Nerves of steel.

Alex Fitzpatrick (Am)

Age: 22

Professional wins: 0

OWGR: 1836

‘How can an amateur feature at the Ryder Cup?’ I hear you say. Well, they can’t! We don’t, however, expect Alex Fitzpatrick to be an amateur for much longer at all. He’s now in his senior year at Wake Forest - who produced golfers such as Will Zalatoris, Webb Simpson and Arnold Palmer - and firmly has one eye on the professional circuits. He has featured in two Walker Cups and if you compare him to his brother, they are vastly different. Alex hits it far and oozes emotion whereas Matt is more controlled off the tee and composed on the course. We could see two sets of brothers at the next Ryder Cup for team Europe!

Sam Horsfield

Sam Horsfield

Age: 24

Professional wins: 2

OWGR: 108

Sam Horsfield enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2020, winning two European Tour titles and propelling himself up the Official World Golf Rankings. He featured in the Palmer Cup as an amateur and won the event so he has positive memories of being part of team-based events. Although he remains winless this season, he has finished in the top 10 on five occasions. A few more wins and Horsfield will start to attract interest from the global golf community.

Robert MacIntyre

Bob MacIntyre

Age: 25

Professional wins: 2

OWGR: 54

Robert MacIntyre enjoyed a glittering amateur career: winning the Scottish Amateur, finishing runner-up in the Amateur Championship and featuring in both the Eisenhower Trophy and the Walker Cup. There is a lot of expectation that MacIntyre holds the ability to make a serious name for himself, and why not? Two professional wins under his belt and two major championship top 10s - both Open Championships - would support his potential. Considering Europe may look to overhaul the current squad, the Scotsman may have a bright future in European colours.

Potential American Players

The 12 Americans selected for the Ryder Cup will all expect to make the next team - which could not be said about the Europeans.

However, this is the absolute pinnacle of golf and it’s unlikely all 12 will remain in form and therefore, secure selection for Rome.

While it might seem unfair with the plethora of talent that America currently possess, here are five excellent Ryder Cup rookies who will be looking to thrust themselves into contention come 2023.

Will Zalatoris

Age: 25

Professional wins: 1

OWGR: 32

I’ve intentionally started with Will Zalatoris for a specific reason. If we look at the European rookies listed, sure, they have professional wins under their belt - more so than Zalatoris - but if we look at the environment that they have played golf in, the American trumps them indefinitely. He currently has one professional win, which was achieved on the Korn Ferry Tour. However, he has secured top 10 finishes in the Masters (2nd), PGA Championship (T8) and the U.S. Open (T6). These are, undoubtedly, the toughest tests in golf and Zalatoris, who was recently awarded Rookie of The Year on the PGA Tour, is unfazed. A lot is spoken about pressure but is there anything that is more pressurised than being in contention on a Sunday at Augusta?

Matthew Wolff

Age: 22

Professional wins: 1

OWGR: 47

Another well-known personality - the rate that America are producing these classy golfers is worrying. Matthew Wolff is ready and waiting to be called into the Ryder Cup team and he’s another golfer with a plethora of experience in pressurised situations, having finished second at the 2020 U.S. Open. Moreover, he finished T4 at the PGA Championship which warrants the question: will these rookies feel the pressure of the Ryder Cup? Of course, it’s different when 11 teammates are relying on you but nonetheless, this 22-year-old has quite the resume - which we expect him to only improve.

Sam Burns

Age: 25

Professional wins: 2

OWGR: 25

Sam Burns secured his maiden PGA Tour title at the Valspar Championship but he had several opportunities to add to the collection. He lost in a playoff at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and held three 54-hole leads that he failed to convert into victory. He also has previous experience of team-based events, having featured - and conquered - for America in the 2017 Arnold Palmer Cup. Arguably the most complete golfer on this list, he has an excellent chance of boarding that plane to Rome.

Max Homa

Age: 30

Professional wins: 5

OWGR: 31

Max Homa enjoyed a successful amateur career and after turning professional following the conclusion of the 2013 Walker Cup, big things were expected. However, they failed to materialise and after a little zigzagging from the Web.com Tour (Korn Ferry) to the PGA Tour he finally established himself with his maiden PGA win at the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship. Only two years later and he would secure his second title, this time the alluring Genesis Invitational; he has added one further victory since. One of the older members of this list, Homa has not exactly excelled during major championships and while he hasn’t featured heavily, he is untested during true pressurised situations…yet!

Billy Horschel

Billy Horschel

Age: 34

Professional wins: 7

OWGR: 18

Billy Horschel had disclosed to the media that he felt insulted after not only being snubbed for a Ryder Cup pick, but he also did not receive a phone call to inform him he was not part of the plans! Ouch. How did he respond, you ask? By securing victory at the European Tour’s flagship event…not bad for a PGA Tour member, eh? Ironically, he featured in the same Walker Cup as Rory McIlroy and the pair exchanged words after their match. Horschel was unfortunate not to be picked for Whistling Straits but was he better than any of the 12 who travelled? Probably not. If he truly was offended by the omission, we can expect a rejuvenated American ready to compete in Rome.

Of course, not all ten players noted will make it to the next Ryder Cup but they have the next 24 months to showcase why they deserve to be on their respective teams.

There was some uneasiness around the manner in which Europe lost but a glance at the upcoming talent should help settle those doubts.

Both teams have incredible players coming through but one worry for Europe would be the rate that the American players can compose themselves under the utmost of pressure.

You’d argue it is vital that the younger Europeans establish themselves quickly in America and perform during the most pressurised situations.

Do you think Europe can regain the Ryder Cup in 2023?

Who Will Be The Next Ryder Cup Captains

The Ryder Cup is unlike any other tournament in golf and the atmosphere is something that every golf fan should experience. The experts at Golfbreaks.com can help with all aspects of your Ryder Cup experience, from accommodation and ticket packages to hospitality and travel and playing some of the fantastic nearby courses.

More Ryder Cup Coverage

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Tags: ryder cup PGA Tour european tour daily picks

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