The Ryder Cup is rapidly approaching and anticipation is starting to build for the 2023 renewal of the famous rivalry between Europe and the United States.
This year’s tournament is set to take place at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club on the outskirts of Rome between September 30 and October 2.
The Americans haven’t won the sought-after gold chalice on European soil since their victory at the Belfry back in 1993, but that looks set to change this year as Zach Johnson’s side are the heavy favourites in the Ryder Cup odds after thrashing their counterparts 19-9 at the iconic Whistling Straits in 2021.
Both sides have their fair share of debutants, however, and the Ryder Cup could be decided by who settles and adapts the quickest out of this big batch of first-timers. That said, let’s take a look at the eight players set to make their maiden Ryder Cup appearances.
The oldest of Team Europe’s debutants at 30, Sepp Straka was one of Luke Donald’s captain’s picks having had a career-best year on the PGA Tour. He recorded five top-10 finishes in 28 events, including winning the John Deere Classic and finishing T2 and T7 at the Open and PGA Championship,respectively.
World No.54 Robert MacIntyre sealed his place in Donald’s team via the European points list. The 27-year-old was second in the Scottish Open on home soil and recorded a further five top-10 finishes on the European Tour.
A player who only turned professional earlier this year, Ludvig Aberg has had a whirlwind 2023. The 23-year-old has played in seven PGA Tour events, coming T4 at the John Deere Classic, registering four top-25 finishes and missing just one cut. The former World No.1 Amateur also won his first European Tour event at the Omega European Masters in his homeland Sweden.
Another up-and-coming star, Nicolai Hojgaard was granted a Special Temporary Membership by the PGA Tour this season and participated in 12 events, finishing runner-up on his second appearance in the Corales Puntacan Championship and T6 in the Scottish Open. The 22-year-old also made his PGA Championship (T50) and Open (23) debuts.
What a year it has been for Wyndham Clark. The 27-year-old picked up his first win on the PGA Tour at the Wells Fargo Championship in May and he followed that up with a maiden major success at the US Open. The World No.10 recorded a further six top-10 finishes and was third in the FedEx Cup.
Another American who has had a fantastic year, 36-year-old Brian Harman also won his first major when The Open returned to Royal Liverpool in July. That was his only success of the season, but the World No.9 record enjoyed six other top-10 finishes and finished the year very strong.
Consistency personified, Max Homa recorded 12 top-10 finishes in his 24 PGA Tour events this season and missed just four cuts over the course of the year. The 32-year-old, who is ranked seventh in the world, won the Fortinet Championship and the Farmers Insurance Open while he was second at The Genesis Invitational.
The only debutant on Team USA who didn’t automatically qualify, Sam Burns was a captain’s pick. The 32-year-old picked up his sole victory of the season in the World Gold Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play and recordedfive further top-10 finishes.