Team Europe split on ‘revenge’ mission but united in quest for Ryder Cup glory

By Sports Desk September 28, 2023

English duo Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick have spoken of revenge – compatriot Tommy Fleetwood preferred the word “motivated” and Rory McIlroy went with “determined” – but Europe’s team are united in their quest to regain the Ryder Cup.

The record 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits was a humbling experience as they lost their grip on the trophy and that quartet are among seven of the current team who experienced it.

They all have their own way of describing what is driving them this week at Marco Simone in Rome but it all points in the same direction.

“Ultimately deep down you want to get some revenge. We have a fantastic team and we will be trying our best to make that happen,” Hatton told rydercup.com.

“You don’t want to be trying too hard, so you give it 100 per cent but being aware of not trying to force the issue and be natural.

“I’m not one to usually fist pump after putts unless they have true meaning but the Ryder Cup is different so on the positive side you will see more (from me) for sure.”

Fitzpatrick may be a major champion, having won last year’s US Open, but in terms of the Ryder Cup he has yet to land a punch having lost all five matches he has played in over two editions.

And while he is keen to get off the mark he is aware the bigger picture is far more important.

“Whistling Straits was disappointing… I think it is some motivation,” he said.

“Realistically if we just won by a point I don’t think it matters; as long as we win I don’t think we are bothered but we all want to win it back regardless of what happened last time.

“I couldn’t care less what happens as long as we win, I don’t care,” adding as a joke: “As the old saying goes, ‘if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying’. Don’t use that.”

Fitzpatrick’s faith in his team-mates has also grown.

“I’ll be honest, if you look at the way the team compared to the US team nine months ago you’d think, ‘OK, there’s a bit of a gap here’ but I feel the closer we have got to this week the more it has looked in our favour.

“Looking at some of the numbers presented, it’s a lot closer than everyone thought it would be so that’s a great sign for us.”

World number two Rory McIlroy felt the defeat in Wisconsin more than most after his only point in for matches came in the Sunday singles over Xander Schauffele, which prompted a tearful television interview afterwards.

“I don’t mind being vulnerable, it’s a very natural human thing to do and I’d say Whistling Straits was probably one of the most vulnerable times of my career,” said McIlroy, who professed his love for his team-mates in an emotional outpouring on the 16th green.

“I wasn’t playing my best golf. It was a tough week for all of us and makes us more determined to put it right this time.

“There are moments of chaos and there’s a really fine balance between thriving in the chaos and getting swept up with that emotion but also being able to bring yourself back to centre and get yourself back to doing what you need to do.”

Fleetwood spoke of standing in silence on the 18th green watching the Americans celebrate as “a very motivating feeling we knew we didn’t want to happen again”.

And world number four Viktor Hovland feels they have a point to prove after that thrashing.

“I think we all have a bit of a chip on our shoulder, we want to show what we can do,” he said.

“I am sure the Americans think they can show up here and do the same thing again but we’re going to do everything we can to stop that.

“I hope we all play our asses off and show them what Team Europe is made of. I just want this week to be a huge statement.”

Related items

  • Wet weather suspends play in Florida with Shane Lowry three shots off the pace Wet weather suspends play in Florida with Shane Lowry three shots off the pace

    Wet weather suspended play on the final day of the Cognizant Classic with 26 players to return on Monday, including Ireland’s Shane Lowry who sits three strokes off the pace.

    After sharing the lead on the third day with American Austin Eckroat and England’s David Skinns, Lowry played five holes on Sunday at Palm Beach Gardens in Florida before play was suspended, hitting one bogey and dropping to equal fourth place.

    Eckroat picked up two birdies in his first seven holes to take the outright lead, while Skinns  dropped two shots in his five holes to sit tied for eighth.

    South African Erik van Rooyen finished one shot behind Eckroat after he shot nine birdies through 18 holes, while American Jake Knapp sits in third place and two shots off the lead after 15 holes.

    The severe weather in Florida caused a three hour delay to play with officials having to suspend play because of dangerous conditions for players and spectators, after lightning struck near the course.

  • ‘Collective’ global tour is inevitable and best for golf – Keith Pelley ‘Collective’ global tour is inevitable and best for golf – Keith Pelley

    Outgoing DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley says unification between between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf is “inevitable”, even if it takes 10 years.

    Golf’s civil war has rumbled on for two years since LIV, the big-money Saudi breakaway venture, began tempting a host of top names with lavish paydays.

    “Whether it be in six months, a year, two years or 10 years, I think people are coming to the realisation that a collective product is in the best interest of global golf,” Pelley told the Sunday Times.

    “It is the only way growth and prize funds continue at this level. It is inevitable.”

    Rory McIlroy said recently he fears golf will remain “fractured forever” unless the opportunity to create a more global game is embraced.

    The four-time major winner, initially an outspoken critic of LIV, has suggested a world tour incorporating “corporate America” and Saudi Arabian investment, but one which also elevates historic national Opens in the likes of Australia and South Africa.

    “I’m very much aligned with Rory,” added Pelley.

    “Rory is the player I have leant on the most, going back to the beginning. You need people who aren’t afraid to say what they really think.”

  • Ireland’s Shane Lowry and England’s David Skinns share lead in Florida Ireland’s Shane Lowry and England’s David Skinns share lead in Florida

    Ireland’s Shane Lowry and England’s David Skinns both shot a five-under-par 66 to share the lead heading into the final round of the Cognizant Classic.

    American Austin Eckroat is alongside them on 13-under-par at the PGA National in Florida – three clear of the chasing pack.

    Former Open champion Lowry is looking for his third PGA Tour victory, while Skinns is yet to finish in the top 10 on the PGA Tour.

    Lowry said he enjoys the “tough golf” after rain and wind made conditions difficult.

    “I like when everything is on the line a lot out there,” Lowry said.

    “I feel like I just know how to play the golf course. I feel like I’ve figured it out.”

    Skinns hit five birdies without a blemish while Lowry mixed six birdies with a bogey.

    Among five players three shots off the pace are Scotland’s Martin Laird – who hit seven birdies in a third-round 66 – and Australian Min Woo Lee.

    Rory McIlroy, who started the day tied with Lowry and Skinns, dropped six shots off the pace with a 72.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.