The 2023 Ryder Cup has already gone down in the annals of European golf. The victory of the team captained by Luke Donald will remain etched in the minds of golf fans for many decades to come. The match ended 16.5 – 11.5 in a year in which the home team came flying out of the blocks to post a record 4-0 in the first session. Team Europe had never before started a Ryder Cup with a whitewash. Two stars of that team were Jon Rahm and Justin Rose, and they will both be teeing it up at this week’s ACCIONA Open de España presented by Madrid.
Jon Rahm was a giant of the team, playing four matches, claiming three points, and ending the week undefeated (2 wins, 2 ties) at Marco Simone. An astonishing performance from the Barrika native means he is in fine fettle as he comes to Madrid in a bid to claim his fourth title from the event, which would take him past Seve and leave him just one victory behind record-holder Angel de la Torre.
For his part, Justin Rose left us with one of the Ryder Cup’s most iconic images when he drained a putt on the 18th to tie his match on Friday evening. His passionate celebration embodied the spirit of the biannual competition. Turning to his teammates, he pointed at them all, giving them each a small slice of credit for that vital half point. The elegant Englishman will be competing in the ACCIONA Open de España for the first time in his career after an injury prevented him from taking part last year. ‘Rosey’ will be looking for his second win of the year in Madrid after taking the spoils at Pebble Beach, one of the PGA Tour’s most iconic courses.
This year’s Open de España will therefore witness two of team Europe’s heroes, but that is not all. The field will also include two of the side’s vice captains, Thomas Bjørn and stat man Edoardo Molinari.
Bjørn is a 15-time DP World Tour champion. The Dane played in three Ryder Cups, captained Europe to victory five years ago in Paris, and was in Rome as a vice captain. He will come to Madrid in search of his first win in almost ten years. Joining him will be ‘Dodo’ Molinari, the brains behind the European Team, who provided Luke Donald with detailed analyses and statistics on both the European and American players.
Can one of the four repeat last week’s heroics in the Spanish capital?