Ryder Cup: Previewing How the Day 1 Foursomes Matchup


Sep 28, 2023

Set your alarm clocks – or plan an all-nighter – because the Ryder Cup is finally here, and it’s got some can’t-miss matchups in store to kick off the action early Friday morning. With big names like Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, and Jon Rahm in action, you’ll want to tune in to NBC’s coverage of one of the most prestigious tournaments on the golf calendar this weekend. To prepare for the action, we take a quick look at each of the four matches on Friday at the Ryder Cup.

1:35 a.m. | Jon Rahm & Tyrrell Hatton vs. Scottie Scheffler & Sam Burns

World number one Scottie Scheffler and five-time Tour winner Sam Burns kick things off for Team USA in a tricky matchup against third-ranked Jon Rahm and six-time European Tour winner Tyrrell Hatton. Rahm and Hatton enter as the slight favorites, and the key to their game will be utilizing their distance to help give them the advantage on the par fives. The key will be if Sam Burns, a top-ten putter in strokes gained on the PGA Tour last season, can carry Scheffler on the green, as he has been seriously struggling with the flat stick recently.

1:50 a.m. | Viktor Hovland & Ludvig Aberg vs. Max Homa & Brian Harman

We could see some nerves come into play in a matchup featuring three Ryder Cup rookies. And it’s not like Hovland is budding with Ryder Cup experience, either. While the Norwegian ranks fourth in the World Golf Rankings, he has yet to notch a win at the Ryder Cup, leaving this match with zero victories amongst its participants. Aberg turned professional three months ago, so the question must be asked if this stage is too large for the 23-year-old. On the American side, Homa and Harman are each playing at the highest level of their respective careers, achieving their highest-ever rankings in 2023. Can they take their game to another level to secure victory for the United States?

2:05 a.m. | Shane Lowry & Sepp Straka vs. Rickie Fowler & Collin Morikawa

Lowry and Straka are the least talked about group within the field, but you cannot count them out. Fowler and Morikawa feel superior on pure recognition, but this European pairing has built a reputation as some of the most steady golfers you will find on the tour. The ceilings of both Americans are considerably better, but we could see some first-round jitters, especially from Fowler, who is making his first Ryder Cup appearance in five years.

2:20 a.m. | Rory McIlroy & Tommy Fleetwood vs. Xander Schauffele & Patrick Cantlay

Does it get much better than this? Fleetwood enters this matchup with the lowest ranking at 15th, while the remaining three sit within the top six. The Ryder Cup already comes with thin margins as the world’s best are facing off, but good luck deciding who wins this one. Most sportsbooks have this as a toss-up, and we see it similarly. The one distinct advantage here comes from the Europeans, who each lap their opponents when it comes to experience at the Ryder Cup. We’ll see if that becomes a factor in the match.

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Thumbnail photo via Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

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