Hae Ran Ryu Wins 2023 LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award

Hae Ran Ryu clinched the prestigious Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award for 2023 on the LPGA Tour. This honor comes on the heels of her impressive tie for 12th place at The Annika last week. Heading into the CME Group Tour Championship, Ryu has amassed a total of 893 points, holding an insurmountable 274-point lead over Grace Kim in the Rookie standings.

A Season of Triumphs on the LPGA Tour

Ryu’s inaugural season on the LPGA Tour has been nothing short of remarkable, marked by six top-10 finishes, including a noteworthy victory at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Among her achievements are a solo third at the Mizuho Americas Open and a solo fourth at the Cognizant Founders Cup. She also notched her best result in a major tournament, finishing eighth at the US Women’s Open.

“I’m honored to receive the Rookie of the Year Award and join the prestigious list of past winners. This year has been unforgettable, and I take pride in what I’ve accomplished on the LPGA Tour,” expressed Ryu. “I’m forever grateful to my team and fans for their unwavering support in my debut season, and I eagerly anticipate closing out the year at the CME Group Tour Championship.”

The 22-year-old has already earned over $1.5 million this season, securing the 15th spot on the Official Money List for the year.

Successful Transition from Amateur Glory

Before making her mark on the LPGA Tour, Ryu participated in six Tour events, securing top-15 finishes at the 2020 US Women’s Open (T13) and the 2021 BMW Ladies Championship (T7). Her journey to success includes five victories on the KLPGA, where she claimed the Rookie of the Year title in 2020. As an amateur, Ryu won the Korean Women’s Amateur in 2018 and showcased her skills at events like the World Junior Girls Championship in 2016 and 2017, the Asian Games in 2018, and the Patsy Hankins Trophy in 2018.

The climax of Ryu’s rookie season will be marked by the presentation of the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award at the 2023 Rolex LPGA Awards ceremony on Thursday, November 16, at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Florida, during the week of the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

Since its inception in 1962, the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award has become a harbinger of golfing greatness. Twelve past winners, including legends like Annika Sorenstam, Se Ri Pak, and Lorena Ochoa, have ascended to the hallowed halls of the LPGA Hall of Fame or the World Golf Hall of Fame. Hae Ran Ryu now adds her name to this illustrious list, etching her place in the annals of golf history.

(Text: LPGA Tour)


Played golfrounds in Great Britain remain high in 2023

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, golf has experienced a remarkable upswing, with an increasing number of enthusiasts taking up the sport. This surge is reflected in the rising frequency of golf rounds played, as highlighted in a report by Sporting Insights. Remarkably, well into the third quarter of 2023—over three years since the pandemic’s onset—the numbers of rounds played remain consistently high.

Up to 55 percent More Golf Rounds than 2019

Despite a sluggish start to the year, golf rounds played in the UK in 2023 continue to surpass pre-pandemic figures. Only January of the first nine months of the year saw a decline compared to 2019. September emerged as the strongest month of the quarter, showing a significant increase of 55 percent compared to 2019 and a ten percent boost from 2022. Although the growth rate has moderated since the immediate post-pandemic period, the overall trend remains mildly positive. Quarterly golf rounds played in the UK increased by five percent compared to the third quarter of 2022, contributing to a year-end total three percent higher than 2022. The current average of 2,910 rounds played per golf course per month translates to an additional 646 rounds per golf course per month, equivalent to approximately 21 extra players per day.

More rounds of golf are still being played in the UK than before the pandemic. (Source: Sporting Insight)

Congratulations to all involved in the sport for the robust and consistent growth in playing frequency. Special commendation goes to the clubs and their teams, successfully engaging and inspiring golfers across all skill levels. The upward trajectory of golf extends beyond the playing field, benefiting professional golf as well. Major golf tournaments on the island have witnessed a significant surge in ticket sales compared to previous years.

(Source: Sporting Insight)

European Tour Ladies European Tour

Golf Boom: Rising ticket sales for professional tournaments

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, golf has experienced a surge in popularity, attracting an increasing number of enthusiasts. This trend seems to extend its positive influence to professional golf as well. According to a report from the DP World Tour, R&A, and Ladies European Tour, major golf tournaments in the UK and Ireland in 2023 have witnessed a significant boost in popularity, marked by increased ticket sales and higher attendance numbers.

DP World Tour with 43 percent higher income from ticket sales

The report focuses on the most prominent golf tournaments in the UK and Ireland, highlighting the DP World Tour’s remarkable achievement. In 2023, the DP World Tour managed to increase its revenue from ticket sales by an impressive 43%, compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Notably, the four major tournaments (excluding Majors) showed substantial increases. The BMW PGA Championship saw a 41% rise in revenue compared to 2019, while the Genesis Scottish Open more than doubled its ticket sales revenue. Overall attendance for the four events, including the BMW PGA Championship, Genesis Scottish Open, Horizon Irish Open, and Betfred British Masters, exhibited a slight upward trend, with nearly 300,000 attendees – around 30,000 more than the previous year. The Ladies European Tour also reported modest increases in audience numbers, with a 20% rise at the KPMG Irish Open in late August.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the DP World Tour, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “Golf is gaining popularity and attracting a more diverse audience. The numbers confirm this, and the biggest events of the DP World Tour in the UK and Ireland have never been more popular. We are witnessing a similar trend in our historic national Opens across Europe. The natural outdoor appeal of golf led people to try the sport at a record pace in 2020, and the DP World Tour is now reaping the benefits. Golfers of all ages want to witness the world’s best players showcasing their skills, and we are focused on ensuring that our audience experience meets their expectations.”

Record Year for the British Open

The pinnacle of golf in the UK, the British Open, also celebrated significant success. Since 2019, all tournament days have been sold out, and the 151st Open in 2023 recorded a 30% increase in attendance compared to the previous edition at Royal Liverpool in 2014. The growing popularity of the tournament led to the introduction of a ticket lottery in 2022 to accommodate the surging demand.


R&A Announces Update to World Handicap System

Just a year after the introduction of the World Handicap System (WHS) in Germany, the R&A has unveiled its first update. Scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2024, this update is part of an ongoing review of handicapping rules and the Course Rating System, with a continued focus on accuracy, consistency, and fairness.

More Precision, Fexibility and Fairness in the World Handicap System

The WHS changes aim to enhance precision, flexibility, and fairness within the handicap system. One significant adjustment is the evaluation of shorter golf courses, achieved by substantially reducing the minimum length requirements. This alteration allows more golfers to submit their scores, resulting in an increased number of players obtaining a Handicap Index. Additionally, the calculation of scores for unplayed holes will now utilize the expected score instead of the net par score. Furthermore, the Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) will be adjusted more frequently to better accommodate unusual playing conditions. The update also includes improved guidance for handicap reviews, featuring new report tools for handicap committees.

Changes to the World Handicap System acoording to the R&A

Inclusion of Shorter Golf Courses in the Course Rating System: The total length requirements for Course Rating in the WHS will be significantly reduced. On an 18-hole course, a set of tee markers can now have a minimum length of 1,370 meters to qualify for a Course Rating and Slope Rating. For a 9-hole course, the minimum length is only 685 meters. This change aims to extend the WHS to thousands of shorter courses, including Par-3 courses, enabling more golfers to obtain and utilize a Handicap Index.

Use of an Expected Score for Unplayed Holes: Improvements have been made to the method of handling unplayed holes. The calculation now relies on a player’s expected score instead of the net par score. This method provides a 9-hole or 18-hole score differential that more accurately reflects a player’s skill. Considering the increasing popularity of 9-hole rounds worldwide, the expected score can also be used to convert a 9-hole round into an 18-hole score differential.

Frequent Adjustments to Playing Conditions Calculation: The Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) has been modified to increase the likelihood of adjustments for unusual playing conditions. National associations have had the option to introduce this change into their calculation platforms since July 2022, with implementation expected to be completed by April 1, 2024, at the latest.

Improved Guidance for Conducting a Handicap Review: The role of the Handicap Committee is crucial to the success of the WHS. The rules recommend a regular handicap review, at least once a year, to ensure that the Handicap Index accurately reflects a player’s skill. New report tools have been developed, which national associations can integrate into their handicap software to assist committees in the effective and consistent execution of the review process.

PGA Tour

PGA Tour: Youngest talent since 2014

Golf prodigy Oliver Betschart will catch the attention of spectators and journalists in November. Betschart, who lives in Bermuda, qualified for the Bermuda Championship last week, making him one of three players to make it through qualifying.

Golf prodigy on the PGA Tour

Betschart already set a record a year ago when he became the youngest winner of the Port Royal Golf Club Championship. This year, he completed the 54-hole local qualifier with a score of 3-over par, with the win going to Eric West. Betschart will be the second 15-year-old to compete in the Bermuda event. Kenny Leseur already qualified for the championship in 2019. “This has been my goal all year,” Betschart, who shot a final round of 68 in challenging wind conditions, told The Royal Gazette. “And now it’s finally true and it’s hard to accept, but I’m really excited. … Last year I was up here working with the tournament staff and seeing all the work that goes into it, and I’m really happy to be a part of it this year. I was definitely nervous going into the home stretch, but then I hit a lot of good shots,” he added. Betschart missed qualifying for the tournament by one stroke last year, but put in a strong performance this time, playing a 68 before watching pro Chaka DeSilva narrowly miss tying with him with a birdie on 18. Betschart will be the youngest player to compete on Tour since 2014 and the fifth youngest since 2000, with only Michelle Wie (twice), Tianlang Guan (six times), Andy Zhang (2012 U.S. Open) and Lorens Chan (2009 Sony Open in Hawaii) younger. Only twice, however, did any of them survive a cut.

In case of a victory Betschart would follow in big footsteps. In 2013, a certain Jordan Spieth made history when he won for the first time on the PGA Tour. Spieth, however, was already 19 years old at the time. At the John Deere Classic, the current major champion beat his rivals David Hearn and Zach Johnson on the fifth playoff hole and became the youngest winner on the PGA Tour since 1931, when Ralph Guldahl won the Santa Monica Open.

Ladies Tours

US Masters: Annika Sorenstam joins Augusta National

Augusta National Golf Club was founded in 1932 as a men-only club and has hosted the prestigious US Masters tournament since 1934. Augusta National is considered one of the most elite clubs in the world with only about 300 members. Among them are personalities from the world’s wealthiest and most powerful businessmen. Women have only been admitted as members since 2012.

Annika Sorenstam becomes first female professional player to join US Masters venue

Multiple sources reported this week that Annika Sorenstam, a 72-time winner on the LPGA Tour, has been accepted as a member at Augusta National Golf Club. However, a spokesman for Augusta National Golf Club declined to comment, and Mike McGee, Sorenstam’s husband and manager, also declined to comment. Membership in Augusta National Golf Club has traditionally been considered a private matter, and the club has always sought to keep its membership list private.

Twenty years ago, women’s activist Martha Burk of the National Council of Women’s Organizations protested the lack of women members at Augusta National. Nearly a decade passed before Augusta National’s then-chairman Billy Payne added former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to the club in 2012. Other confirmed female members at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia include Heidi Ueberroth, co-chairwoman of Pebble Beach Co; former USGA President Diana Murphy; former IBM CEO Ginni Rometty; and Ana Botin, executive chairwoman of Santander Group. Golf legend Annika Sorenstam is now the first professional player to be inducted as a member of the country’s most prestigious golf club. Sorenstam has been a trailblazer for women’s golf. She has collected a total of 10 Major titles during her unique career. In 2008, she became the first woman to compete in a PGA Tour event since 1945 when she competed in the tournament then known as the Bank of America Colonial. When Augusta National Golf Club introduced the Augusta Women’s National Amateur in 2019, Sorenstam was one of the first starters.

“I wish we had done it sooner”

A decade after the first female members were admitted, Fred Ridley, the current club chairman, reflected on that decision during his pre-tournament press conference at the Masters. “I don’t know about you, but when anything happens or any idea that you had turns out well and you’re pleased about it, initiative, whatever, you might always say, well, why didn’t we do that sooner?  And that’s a fair, that’s a fair thought. And so I wish – I wish we had have,” he said.

He added: “Women members are a very important part of our membership, and you will continue to see over the years, if you look, more green jackets that are women. I’m going to make sure of that.

“We have a number of women members who we are delighted are part of our organization. I think you know, certainly, who some of them are. They have been great contributors to our organization, both I would say substantively and things they are doing to help us, both with the Masters and otherwise.”

Highlights Tours

Ryder Cup 2023: Rickie Fowler – Experience for Team USA

The Ryder Cup 2023 awaits when the famous trophy is at stake at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome at the end of September. For Rickie Fowler, it will already be the fifth participation in the prestigious tournament. After going winless for 1610 days on the PGA Tour, Fowler triumphed at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit in July. This victory put him in the sights of U.S. captain Zach Johnson for the first time, who, after further good performances, eventually nominated him as one of the “captain’s picks” for the U.S. team at the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Rickie Fowler at the Ryder Cup 2023

Thanks to his victory in Detroit, the 34-year-old will be a member of a Ryder Cup team for the first time in five years. “This participation is really special,” Fowler said after being selected as one of Zach Johnson‘s six captain’s picks. “Fortunately, when I got the call from Zach, he told me the good news, and it was definitely emotional because it’s been a great year after the last few years. I knew it was going to be very difficult to be in that position, so to get that call and be a part of this team is amazing.”

Fowler with terrific comeback in Ryder Cup year

In 2019, Fowler, who had previously been one of the most popular players on the PGA Tour for years and had consistently ranked in the top-10 of the world golf rankings, hit a slump. Fowler slipped further and further down the world rankings. In 2021, the likeable American missed the Masters and the US Open for the first time since 2010. The former star player was also left out of the Ryder Cup. Fowler was not present when the USA defeated the Europeans 19:9 at Whistling Straits. It was the second time since 2008 that he failed to make the U.S. team. In 2022, he finally reached a career low of 185th in the world rankings. As a result, the now 34-year-old made some changes.

He parted ways with his caddie Joe Skovron after 13 years and replaced him with Ricky Romano. He also decided to return to his old swing coach Butch Harmon. The changes quickly took effect. Entering 2023, Fowler posted a string of top-20 finishes before heading into the US Open with top-10 finishes at the Colonial and the Memorial. Fowler received an exemption to the third major of the year because of his ranking in the world rankings – and on the first day, he shot a 62, the best round in US Open history. He led after the first three rounds and finished the tournament in a tie for fifth place. His best major result since finishing second at the 2018 Masters, Fowler continued to play well the following week at the Travelers Championship, finishing in a tie for 13th place. He finally picked up a long-awaited victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic the following week. The six-time Tour winner finished the season in 16th place in the FedExCup standings, his best finish since 2017.

Lots of experience for the US Team at the Ryder Cup 2023

Fowler will be competing in his fifth Ryder Cup, making him one of the most experienced members of the U.S. team alongside Jordan Spieth. At just 21 years old, Rickie Fowler made his Ryder Cup debut back in 2010. On the grounds of Celtic Manor, he was the first PGA Tour rookie to compete in the Ryder Cup and impressed with an impressive recovery in his singles match against Edoardo Molinari. Other appearances followed in 2014, 2016 and 2018, and the last time Fowler was on the Ryder Cup stage was at Le Golf National in France in 2018. One of the best-known and most popular players, Fowler participated in the biennial competition for the then fourth time. The Americans lost 17.5-10.5 and tough years began for Fowler on the PGA Tour. Because of a great comeback season, Zach Johnson nominated Fowler for the 2023 Ryder Cup. “It’s been a great 2023,” Johnson said. “Obviously that win (at the Rocket Mortgage Classic), a very good US Open in LA, basically consistently good performances throughout the season. The stats have shown that. He’s also extremely flexible in terms of pairings. Those who know him, or at least have been around him, know that he makes every team better. That’s Rick.” Now, 13 years after making his debut on the Ryder Cup stage as a rookie with the famous ‘wispy’ hairdo, Fowler will try to lead the U.S. team to its first victory on foreign soil in 30 years. And given all he’s been through in recent years, the 2023 Ryder Cup could be Fowler’s most momentous.

Whats inside Rickie Fowler’s bag at the 2023 Ryder Cup

To match his Puma outfit, the newly crowned PGA Tour winner is equipped with the latest woods from Cobra. The Aerojet LS driver is joined by the 3-wood from the same series. The LS variants are characterized by a particularly low spin and thus generate even more length from the tee. At around 290 meters, Rickie Fowler makes full use of this additional length in the tournament. When it comes to irons, he relies on the Cobra King Tour. Unlike the CB/MB irons, the Player irons are not forged from a single piece but have an aluminum insert. This makes them a bit more forgiving while still generating plenty of spin. The Cobra King wedges in Rickie Fowler’s bag are designed for maximum variability and are said to develop extra spin and control around the green with their specially designed grooves.

Highlights Tours

Junior Ryder Cup 2023: Team Europa seals dominant victory

Team Europe entered the final day singles matches with a six point lead after a remarkable clean sweep in Wednesday’s four-balls at Golf Nazionale, and they drove home their home advantage with seven victories and three ties in 12 Thursday singles matches at this year’s Ryder Cup venue, triumphing 20,5 to 9,5.

Europe triumphs for the first time since 2004

Germany’s Helen Briem provided the Europeans with some early momentum at the Junior Ryder Cup 2023 after her 2&1 win over Yana Wilson, before Kris Kim defeated Miles Russell 5&4 to extend Europe’s advantage.

Spaniard Andrea Revuelta holed the winning putt to seal outright victory for Team Europe for the first time since 2004 when they won the trophy on American soil at Westfield Group Country Club in Ohio.

Scotland’s Conor Graham overcame American Jay Leng Jr 1 UP, while Swede Meja Örtengren defeated Gianna Clemente 3&2. Irishman Sean Keeling and Italian Giovanni Binaghi provided the two other European victories.

Francesca Fiorellini with a masterful performance in front of her home crowd at the Junior Ryder Cup 2023

In the final match to finish on the course, Italy’s Francesca Fiorellini provided a moment of magic on the 18th green as she came back from 2 down with two holes to play, holing a putt from 25 feet to tie the match in front of a raucous home crowd.

European Junior Ryder Cup Captain Stephen Gallacher was delighted to bring home the trophy for his side and believes the future is bright for European golf.

“It feels absolutely amazing,” he said. “I am so proud of this team and what they have achieved. The team spirit has been unbelievable, and it has been a privilege to be their Captain.

“Every player took control of their own game and they’ve done everything I could have asked of them. The standard of golf has blown me away and it has been inspiring to watch. We are looking at future Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup stars.

“The kids have been fantastic and the way they bounced back at times was sensational. I’ve been blessed to have a front row seat and it’s been an honour just to watch them play. Some of these boys and girls will be future World Number Ones for sure.

“The standard and the talent out there is unreal and the future is bright for Europe. They have all been superstars. The way they dealt with the pressure of playing in this arena has been exceptional and I think our team wanted it a bit more today.”

(Text: Junior Ryder Cup)

Highlights Tours

Ryder Cup 2023 – Nicolai Hojgaard: “Sometimes you have to pinch yourself”

Nicolai Hojgaard is set to make his debut at the Ryder Cup 2023. With back-to-back top five finishes in the final two events of the European Ryder Cup qualification, Hojgaard earned a Captain’s pick from Luke Donald. The 22 year old impressed with a tie for fifth at the Ryder Cup venue Marco Simone at the DS Automobiles Italian Open – the event and venue he won at in 2021- and once again among a strong field at the Genesis Scottish Open, where he finished tied sixth.

Nicolai Hojgaard: “It’s a special week”

Nicolai, your first Ryder Cup. Talk about the experience so far of being in the team room and being out on the golf course for 18 holes yesterday.

Nicolai Hojgaard: Yeah, it’s a special week. You’re sitting next to your idols and heros and you’re going out preparing for a big week. It’s pretty cool to be here and preparing and being in the team room and seeing the stuff that goes behind it. That surprise Luke made yesterday with our shirts next to each other and then Seve’s in the middle, it was special and emotional, and that’s what this week is about.

You talked about some of your heros on this team have said if there’s anything they could do to help you, don’t hesitate, you can ask them anything. Have you been asking them anything, and what sorts of things have they been telling you?

Nicolai Hojgaard: I think the good part of all this is they have been in the same position that I’m in now. They got the rookies — obviously Rory and Rahm and Rose, those guys have been here a lot. They were rookies at one point as well, and they had guys, they had questions. So being in the same position as them, trying to learn from the best is pretty cool. It’s about how you prepare for this week going in as a rookie compared to when you’re an experienced guy.

Is there anything you arrived worrying about?

Nicolai Hojgaard: I wouldn’t say probably worried but more about making sure that we are all part of the team and we are all interacting with each other and we all make that team room the best possible place to go. Everyone is very good at it, and you always are like a little worried or scared getting into a team room where you haven’t been before, and you’re getting into a team room with your idols, the guys you’ve been looking up to your whole life. Sometimes you’re here and you have to pinch yourself a little bit, but it’s reality now and now it’s about going and preparing those guys and get ready for Friday.

What’s the best thing you’ve experienced or the thing that’s pleased you most since you’ve arrived here? Doesn’t have to be golf-related.

Nicolai Hojgaard: I think being in that team room yesterday, Seve’s shirt in the middle, and we all talked about all the guys and heros before us and keeping that legacy going and the DNA of The European Team. You hear about it, but once you’re in that team room, you get goosebumps just talking about it, and what it means to Europe and European golf. That’s been obviously the biggest or the coolest experience.

Do you feel confident to express your thoughts in that environment?

Nicolai Hojgaard: I do, yeah. I feel like we’ve got a very good environment in that room. You can say whatever — we all have the same goal. We are all part of the same team. We all focus and determine on the job ahead, and that’s why I think it’s such a cool place to go.

Nicolai Hojgaard is the youngest player at the Ryder Cup 2023

You are 22 years old and the youngest player in the Ryder Cup. Tell us how you feel as such a young prodigy playing in the Ryder Cup?

Nicolai Hojgaard: Yeah, I don’t think about it that much, actually. There’s a lot of young players in both teams, and it’s not really something I think about. But in the end of the day, it’s a cool achievement being the youngest I think on both teams. It’s just a cool thing to say that you’re playing in the Ryder Cup when you’re 22. It’s not really that important. It’s just more of a cool thing to say, I’d probably say.

If you can tell us specifically some of the things Luke Donald has done for you?

Nicolai Hojgaard: When I started playing a little bit in America this year, he was very good to me. We were out for dinners and lunch and always interacted during the weeks. That’s probably where I learned (about) Luke. He’s been a very important part of all this process, of course. That’s the thing about America, I’d say you feel probably a little bit alone in some way because you’re in a different environment you’re not normally used to.

Can you identify a point where you thought, I might be able to make this Ryder Cup 2023 Team? Was there a point you thought you would be a part of this?

Nicolai Hojgaard: When I started the season, I wasn’t really thinking about it too much. We put a plan in place at the start of the year where this was one of the goals, and there was two goals on that list. We tried to focus on how would we build our game to get in the Ryder Cup, and I could see slowly when the season went on that there were some good things in place and that happened. And then when we got to Prague and Switzerland, I played some good golf where I needed to, and I feel like I’ve been doing that for a long time. Probably really haven’t had like the really top results, but it’s been on the right track for a long time. A couple good finish there probably put me in a position where I’ve probably done my part and hopefully that will be enough. But I’ve always had in mind that I think I could be on the team and I get on the team golf-wise, and yeah, sitting here now is pretty special.

Nicolai, thanks for joining us. We wish you well this week.

Highlights Tours

Ryder Cup 2023 – Robert MacIntyre: “There’s more buzz around it compared to St. Andrews”

Robert MacIntyre will make his first appearance for Team Europe at Ryder Cup 2023 after securing the third automatic qualification spot on the European Points List. The Marco Simone Golf & Country Club arises good memories for MacIntyre. In 2022 he secured his second DP World Tour title at the italian venue, where he now returns to as part of Team Europe.

Marco Simone suits Robert MacIntyre

Joined by Robert MacIntyre for Team Europe. We know team sport has been a part of your life with shinty, but how much have you been enjoying the team environment this week?

Robert MacIntyre: Yeah, it’s good. There’s been a lot going on, obviously, but it feels very much like home. All the guys behind each other for one goal, and it’s part of why, we say in shinty, it’s one goal to win the match, and it’s one goal this week to win the trophy back.

Having won here, you know this place really well. Can you talk about how different it’s set up this week to the Italian Open?

Robert MacIntyre: Yeah, there’s a couple drivable holes than what it was before but still very similar. You’ve got to hit it in the short stuff. The rough’s brutal. But it’s no different. Good golf scores will win matches, and if you keep it reasonably straight off the tee, then you’ve got a great chance.

Even for a young guy like you, Seve is this huge inspiration for European golfers?

Robert MacIntyre: Yeah, he turned it around, didn’t he. He turned the tide. Obviously Americans were dominating, but then kind of Seve took it upon himself to change that, to rectify it. I think ever since then, I mean, I’m sure Jon said it. That’s the reason he plays golf. I mean, Seve has done so much for the game of golf. For me, obviously I didn’t really get to watch him. I didn’t get to meet him. But I’ve watched so many clips of him but there’s so many others. Last night I spoke to Monty, and I mean, for a Scotsman, Monty was everything. Again, just a little bit before my time. But I mean, I’ve heard all about him. I’ve watched so many clips about him. Yeah, there’s just so many idols that have done so well in this tournament.

The Ryder Cup brings more excitement than an Open at St. Andrews

You spoke last year about the excitement you felt arriving at St Andrews ahead of playing an open there. How does the feeling arriving here compare for this week?

Robert MacIntyre: Slightly different. A bit more excitement in it. There’s more buzz around it. There’s more people around it. When I arrived at St Andrews, it was on me. I was the only one that could control what was going to happen. This week, there is so much more to it than just me.

How much detail have Luke and the vice captains given you? Do you know when you’re playing and who you’re playing with? Does that help you in your preparation knowing what your role is going to be?

Robert MacIntyre: Yeah, I’ve got kind of a hint on who I’m going to be playing with and what I’m going to be playing in. Again, nothing’s going to prepare me for that first tee shot. It’s just plain and simple. It’s something bigger than I’ve ever been involved in and ever experienced. Just try and keep it as light as I can so that I can play golf the way I know that I can play golf, and the main part is just enjoy it.

Will you calm down by the time you get to the first tee, or do you need that nervous energy to keep going?

Robert MacIntyre: For me, as I said, I’m as calm as ever just now. I actually said to my family, at the start of the week, do you know, I’ve not got the nerves yet. I’m very chilled. I think it’s because the team environment I’m in, it’s very much what I’m comfortable in. But I think Friday or Thursday night, when I know it’s coming, I think the excitement will pick up and the nerves will start to hit. But it’s part of it and it’s part of the journey, and I’ve just got to enjoy it. It’s there. It’s not going to go away, and just accept it’s there and go and do your best.

Thinking about conditions this week, the course undulations and the weather and stuff, how does everyone think about that?

Robert MacIntyre: Yeah, it’s good. The majority of the guys have been here and played it from kind of 2021. There was a few guys that came. But no, the course is a course. It is hilly. It’s hot. But no, we’ve got all the best stuff. We’ve got the best guys for the job from hydration, nutrition, everything. Just as well we’re athletes.

As a Scotsman, how are you dealing with the sun?

Robert MacIntyre: Yeah, it’s all right. Get out there and enjoy yourself.

Bob, thanks for joining us. We wish you well this week.