Fleetwood provides clincher as Europe reclaims Ryder Cup
A week after Europe retained the Solheim Cup over the United States with a 14-14 tie in Spain, Europe provided more theatrics in a 16½-11½ victory at the Ryder Cup on Sunday in Rome, Italy. Europe served the visiting United States an early knockout blow with a 4-0 start in Friday foursomes and clinched after the United States’ Rickie Fowler conceded a short putt on the 16th hole to Tommy Fleetwood in a Sunday singles match.
“I'm quite relieved I must say,” said Fleetwood after Europe’s win. “I was so happy to see that tee shot start off where it did on 16. Yeah, just I think relief, pride, joy. Proud of everybody that's been involved this week and just proud that I'm one of the people that gets to play role in what we came here to do.”
The 2023 Ryder Cup was one of the last opportunities for top players to represent their country in men’s golf prior to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, which will be held at Le Golf National outside of Paris next summer. Le Golf National hosted the 2018 Ryder Cup in a 17½-10½ Europe victory.
Fleetwood, who stands 10th in the Olympic Golf Ranking (OGR) and third among the Great Britain contingent, joined a number of top players from Europe with a 3-1-0 individual record. Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (second in OGR) led the way with a 4-1-0 record, followed by Great Britain’s Tyrrell Hatton (No. 9) and Norway’s Viktor Hovland (No. 4) with 3-0-1 records. Max Homa, the seventh-ranked player in OGR, led the United States with a 3-1-1 record.
A limit of four players inside the top 15 of the OGR from a single country are eligible to play in the Games. Once past No. 15 in the OGR (based on men’s Official World Golf Ranking), there will be a maximum of two eligible players from each country that doesn’t already have two or more in the top 15 to fill out the 60-man field.
In all, the victorious European Team included nine players currently projected to make the Olympics (Fleetwood, McIlroy, Hatton, Hovland, Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry, Matt Fitzpatrick, Sepp Straka and Nicolai Hojgaard). The United States’ Ryder Cup contingent included all four players currently in position to reach the Games: Homa, Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.