Will European Ryder Cup players get an edge next week as Italian Open hits Marco Simone? It’s happened before

You’d wonder if American players in contention for the Ryder Cup would have learned something.

The 2018 Ryder Cup was played at the National Golf Club of France, and the DP World Tour scheduled the French Open there. Seven members of the European Ryder Cup team played in that tournament. One American player competed, Justin Thomas.

Europe won going away by seven points. Thomas was the lone bright spot for the Americans with a 4-1 record, including a 1-up singles victory over Rory McIlroy in the first match out of the gate on Sunday.

The Italian Open is next week at Marco Simone, the site of the year’s Ryder Cup. However, no American players are entered, since the Wells Fargo Championship the same week is a designated event, with a $20 million purse.

The U.S. team is made up of the top six eligible players in the points rankings with six captain’s picks. The European team includes the top three eligible players from each of the European Points List and World Points List, plus six captain’s picks.

Europe golfer Francesco Molinari celebrates with Europe golfer Tommy Fleetwood after winning their match during the 2018 Ryder Cup Friday afternoon matches at Le Golf National. Mandatory Credit: Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Among the European Ryder Cup contenders in the field are Victor Perez, Thorbjorn Olesen, Robert MacIntyre and Danish twins Nicolai and Rasmus Hojgaard.

U.S. captain Zach Johnson said he’s not concerned and has trips planned for U.S. players to visit the course later this summer.

“The more times you can get your feet on the site, great,” he told the Associated Press. “But I’ve got some plans in store that will allow the team to get used to a golf course that they’re not familiar with.”

Johnson selected Davis Love III to serve as a vice captain for the 2023 matches, which are slated for Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Love’s Ryder Cup resume includes two stints as captain (2012, 2016) and six appearances as a player.

“The Ryder Cup is one of the truly special events in all of sports, and I am so honored to be named a Vice Captain in Italy in 2023,” said Love in a release. “Zach has worked tirelessly since he was named Captain, and I’m ready to do whatever it takes to help Zach and the entire U.S. Team to win in September.”

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