Mail Sport picks three key holes that could decide the Ryder Cup

A 303-yard, par four that has a green reachable from the tee and two epic par fives that will test the world’s best golfers… Mail Sport picks three key holes that could decide the Ryder Cup

  • Luke Donald will lead Team Europe out at the Ryder Cup next week in Rome 
  • The tournament is set to take place at the Marco Simone golf course in Italy 
  • It is set to be a true challenge with plenty of hazards to catch the teams out  

Rome is famous for its Seven Hills so perhaps it is no surprise that the city’s most famous golf course will provide a serious, physical workout for Europe and the USA’s Ryder Cup stars.

The Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, one of only 325 courses in Italy and 10 miles from St Peter’s Basilica, is a proper climb with a dizzying 155 feet in elevation between the lowest point on the front nine and highest spot on the back nine.

The rough is thick, 31.5 acres of fairway not overly generous, but with three drivable par fours and three par fives reachable in two, it promises to be one of the most exciting Ryder Cup venues in history.

The Ryder Cup resting on the ninth green at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome

European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald (pictured) will lead his team out at the tournament in Rome next week

Zach Johnson (pictured) will lead an illustrious list of American players out next week at the golf course in Rome

Hole 8 – 525 yards, par 5

Players will have to hit woods off the tee at the eighth hole to get far enough down the fairway for a decent look over the water. 

From there they will play a medium or long iron. The conservative route is a long iron to the heart of the fairway and another medium iron around the water to the ideal pitch range.

Hole 9 – 587 yards, par 5

The water down the left shouldn’t be in play from the tee — but the bunkers on the right may be. 

If the real big hitters can find the fairway they can have a go at the green. The safe option is to lay up before striking into the well-guarded green.

Hole 16 – 303 yards, par 4

A great match-play hole, with a green 66ft below the tee so reachable for all the players. 

In the fourballs, at least one player from each group will have a go at the green.

Foursomes, however, might require a lay-up though that’s fraught with a central fairway bunker and a canal at 250 yards off the tee.

The par 5 eighth hole will challenge golfers to measure their drives with a body of water cutting across the approach to the green

The par 5 ninth will provide players with another chance to score, if they are able to pinpoint a long approach shot onto the green

The par 4 16th is an exciting hole that puts the green way below the tee, it could prove an interesting challenge in the foursomes

Team Europe

R McIlroy

J Rahm

V Hovland

T Hatton

M Fitzpatrick

R MacIntyre

S Lowry

T Fleetwood

J Rose

S Straka

N Hojgaard

L Aberg

Captain: L Donald 

Team USA

S Scheffler

A Clark

B Hartman

P Cantlay

M Homa

X Schauffele

S Burns

R Fowler

C Morikawa

B Koepka

J Speith

J Thomas

Captain: Z Johnson 

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