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Solheim Cup 2024: These vice-captains will lead Team Europe

Suzann Pettersen, the captain of the European team, has announced her four vice-captains for the 2024 tournament at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia. Among them is Mel Reid from England, who will support the team alongside Laura Davies, Caroline Martens and Anna Nordqvist, who have already served as vice-captains at the 2023 Solheim Cup in Finca Cortesin in Andalusia.

Solheim Cup 2024: New vice-captains appointed

With Reid, Davies, Nordqvist and Martens, Pettersen has put together a high-calibre team to hopefully continue Team Europe’s success from the last Cup in Andalusia. The last event ended in a dramatic 14-14 draw after a tense tournament – Team Europe only retained the trophy because of their victory in the previous year. Pettersen’s selection of vice-captains emphasises a deliberate strategy to combine the experience of her vice-captains with the winning momentum of the last tournament.

The Look ahead: Preparations for Virginia

The training season for the 19th edition of the tournament is already in full swing and the strategic direction of the European team promises an exciting and fierce contest. With the appointment of Davies, Martens and Nordqvist, Pettersen is relying on a mix of experience, success and team spirit to win the 2024 Solheim Cup against the American team. In Mel Reid, who already served as vice-captain in 2019 and is a six-time winner of the Ladies European Tour and four-time participant of the Solheim Cup, Pettersen gains an experienced and vital key figure for this year’s Solheim Cup 2024.

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Charlie Woods aims for PGA Tour debut in Florida

Things are getting serious for Charlie Woods in Florida. The 15-year-old will play a PGA Tour pre-qualifier at Lost Lake Golf Club on Thursday to qualify for next weekend’s Cognizant Classic. Should the teenager finish in the top five or share one of the places, however, that would only be the first step for Charlie Woods. Advancing would initially mean taking part in next week’s Monday Qualifier. There he would have to finish in the top four to take part in the Cognizant Classic and have a chance of winning a share of the nine million US dollars in prize money.

Charlie Woods: Almost a tournament winner at the age of 13

Charlie, who was born in 2009, is not in the spotlight for the first time. He has already played with his father four times at the PNC Championship, which Bernhard Langer won for the fifth time last year with his son Jason. In 2021, the Woods duo and Charlie, who was 13 at the time, even managed to finish runner-up. Tiger’s offspring also seems to practise a lot outside of father/son tournaments. His handicap is currently +3 and therefore clearly fulfils the requirements for pre-qualifiers, which demand a handicap of 2 or better. In the pre-qualifier, he is now fighting for progress in the flight with Olin Browne Jr, son of three-time Tour winner Olin Browne, and Ruaidhri McGee.

Tiger Woods’ son far from the age record

At the Cognizant Classic, which will take place between 29 February and 3 March at Palm Beach Gardens, Charlie Woods would probably be one of the youngest participants in the tournament on the course. It would be far from historic on the PGA National’s Champion Course. Because in the history of golf, Don Dunkelberger is unlikely to be overtaken any time soon. At the age of just 11, Dunkelberger played in the 1937 Chicago Open, but withdrew from the tournament after the first round. The youngest participant of this millennium is Lorens Chan, who took part in the 2009 Sony Open at the age of 14. In 1992, Charlie’s father Tiger made his debut at the Nissan Open at the age of 16. He failed to make the cut at his first PGA Tour event at the Riviera Country Club before going on to win 15 major titles in his career.

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Novelty: OGIO launches unique golf bag range

Spearheading an exciting 2024 collection, the Fuse Stand Bag is OGIO’s newest golf product, designed as a lightweight, bold and functional carry option for golfers of all ages and abilities.

As part of the range, OGIO is offering the eye-catching Hawaiian-themed Aloha Fuse bag, which sees the top section of the over mould hydro-dipped for water transfer printing, creating designs whereby no two bags are the same.

Infused with OGIO features such as the fit-disk carry system, rapid access pocket and three-ball silo, the Fuse Bag is available in a range of five subtle colourways.

The four other designs – Black Sport, Brush Stroke Camo, Graffiti Kaleidoscope, Navy Sport – feature new overmoulded tops, while all Fuse bags also come with a four-way full length divider top for traditional organisation of clubs and six front facing pockets, including a rapid snap access pocket.

Brush Stroke Camo – Hybrid. (Photo: OGIO)

Unique designs and modern technologies

Building on the success of the limited edition 2023 All Elements Silencer Cart Bag, OGIO has released seven new designs as part of its 2024 golf bag range as it reaffirms its trend for bold, classic and cool designs mixed with technology and functionality.

Featuring OGIO’s unique silencer technology, a premium 15-way moulded top that delivers a more efficient way of organising sets by easily locking each club into place to prevent noisy rattling and damage, the new limited-edition range of designs sees an array of new colourways introduced, including the green and blue Tiger Swirl and the black and white skater-styled Warped Checkers.

Tiger Swirl – Silencer. (Photo: OGIO)

The All Elements Woodē Hybrid Bag has also returned to the market in a range of fresh, distinct designs matching the bold and daring colours of the Silencer Cart Bag. The full waterproof bag features an eight-way top, waterproof shoulder straps and an insulated cooler pocket.

The perfect accompaniment for the 2024 golf bag range, OGIO kickstarted the year by releasing a range of premium golf accessories in four themes including towels and head covers for drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and putters.

Michael Birch expects “great success”

Michael Birch, OGIO sales and marketing manager EMEA, said: “OGIO has always looked to differentiate from the competition and constantly innovate, and these new products prove that is still very much the case.

“New OGIO products like our Fuse Stand Bag and limited-edition designs on some familiar, favourite products continue to move us in the right direction and we are confident that the 2024 golf bag range will be a great success.”

(Text: The Azalea Group)

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TP5 and TP5x: TaylorMade’s golf ball novelties 2024

TaylorMade is launching two revised versions of its well-known golf balls: the TP5 and the TP5x. These balls are equipped with the latest technologies aimed at improving game performance, according to TaylorMade.

TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x golf balls – new versions for 2024

TaylorMade TP5: TaylorMade states that the TaylorMade TP5 is characterised by its 5-layer design, which offers a softer feel and improved spin control, especially near the greens. This is said to be made possible by a new technology, the “Speed Wrapped Core”, which offers faster ball speed and a more comfortable feel.

TaylorMade TP5x: The TaylorMade TP5x is said to be harder and optimised for speed and distance, with reduced spin on drives and long irons, which could be beneficial for players looking for distance. It shares the 5-layer design of the TP5, but utilises different materials and constructions to achieve the desired properties.

“Our learnings from countless player and Tour tests show that golfers”, explains Michael Fox, Senior Director of Product Creation Golf Balls at TaylorMade, “unsurprisingly, favour a softer more muted sound with added distance. Historically, the challenge has been the inability to improve one without negatively impacting the other. With this understanding, we’ve evolved our golf ball design process by uniquely decoupling feel and speed through material advancement, a complete departure from the conventional. The material-level advancement positions our TP5/TP5x family as having the best feel in the industry with faster constructions.”

TaylorMade TP5 and TP5x – What for whom?

While the TP5 is designed for a softer feel and more spin control close to the greens, the TP5x is aimed at maximising distance and speed, with less spin on longer shots. This makes the TP5 ideal for players who prefer more control and feel, and the TP5x for those looking for distance, according to TaylorMade. Both models are equipped with “ClearPath Alignment” technology, which should make alignment easier. The line on the golf ball has been extended for this purpose and made more contrasting to make it easier to aim on the green.

TaylorMade TP5/x pix – emojis and symbols

In addition to the standard models, TaylorMade also offers the TP5/TP5x pix™ golf balls. These balls feature modified visual technology designed to enable easier alignment and better feedback on the green. They are available in different colours, which also improves visibility. The TP5/x is also available with various colourful logos, emojis and symbols that give golfers personalisation options. “My Symbol” is the name of the programme that allows golf balls to be created according to your own wishes.

Price and availability of TaylorMade golf balls

The new golf balls from TaylorMade, both the TP5 and the TP5x, will be available from 15 February 2024. Both models are available in white and yellow. A dozen of the TP5 and TP5x golf balls will cost €63 each, while the more specialised TP5/TP5x pix golf balls will cost €65 per dozen. These price points position the balls in the premium segment of the market.

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Edoardo Molinari named as new Vice Captain for the 2025 Ryder Cup

Luke Donald has appointed Edoardo Molinari as his first Vice Captain for the 2025 Ryder Cup which will be played at Bethpage Black, New York, USA from September 26-28, 2025.

Molinari will return to Donald’s backroom team after a highly-successful stint in the role for the 2023 Ryder Cup in his native Italy, where Team Europe secured a memorable 16 ½ – 11 ½ victory against the United States at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.

The Italian, alongside his brother Francesco, was part of the victorious European Team as a player in the 2010 Ryder Cup at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. He has also won three times on the DP World Tour and made 402 Tour appearances to date.

The 42-year-old, a popular figure within the game, proved crucial to Team Europe’s success in Rome, with Captain Donald placing a key emphasis on Molinari’s statistical analysis model in the months leading up to, and during, the biennial contest.

Molinari said: “I’m very happy. It’s something that I’m very proud of and probably means I did a pretty decent job last time, so I cannot wait to help the team and Luke again in Bethpage and I’m really looking forward to it.

“Luke called me the very day he was named captain, a little before the official announcement, and said he really enjoyed working with me in Rome and would like my help again. We had another chat about a week later, maybe 30 or 40 minutes on the phone, chatted about a few things and he asked me and I said of course, I would happily do it all over again.

“I think Rory put it best in the press conference after Rome, he said the most difficult thing in golf these days is to win an away Ryder Cup. It hasn’t been done in many years now, Luke was part of the team in Medinah, the last one that Europe won away, and hopefully we can produce something similar.

“I cannot wait. I’ve never been part of an away Ryder Cup. I heard it will be very tough, very difficult, you need to have a lot of patience and calmness, but I cannot wait to get started. I cannot wait to be at Bethpage with the whole team, it’s going to be a long two years waiting for that week, but it will be extremely exciting and hopefully we can win again.”

European Ryder Cup Captain Luke Donald said: “Edoardo is someone I have got to know very well over the last couple of years and he’s going to be a great addition again for the 2025 Ryder Cup.

“He plays a very significant role. He’s playing full-time out here on the DP World Tour, he’s a good player, a Ryder Cupper and he knows what it’s all about. He’s around the players a lot and he works with a lot of players on their statistics as well.

“I’ll lean heavily on him with the qualification criteria and then when we get close to the matches, how the team is forming, how their skillsets match to the golf course at Bethpage and whether they’re more foursomes-related pairings, fourballs-related players, and putting those pairings together.

“We spent a lot of time together over the last couple of years, we grew very close. He was extremely important to the whole journey and the process and he’ll be even more important on this away one. If we can create some history and try and win away from home, it’s going to be a very, very sweet four years together.”

Molinari and his brother Francesco followed compatriot Costantino Rocca into Ryder Cup folklore when they represented Europe in the Ryder Cup in 2010 at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales.

The Molinaris became the first brothers to compete against the United States since Bernard and Geoffrey Hunt played in the 1963 Great Britain & Ireland team, when they played in the 2010 contest at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. They halved their fourballs match against Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar, while Edoardo contributed another crucial half point in his singles match against Rickie Fowler as Europe triumphed 14½-13½.

In addition to his three victories on the DP World Tour, Molinari was also the Challenge Tour Number One in 2009 and is a respected member of the DP World Tour’s Tournament Committee.

Before turning professional, Molinari won the 2005 US Amateur Championship and alongside Francesco, claimed the World Cup of Golf for Italy in 2009 at Mission Hills in China.

Text: European Tour Group Communications

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Fails of 2023: From horror laps to miserable bunkers

Not everything went smoothly in golf year 2023. Julien Brun battled his way through an unforgettable round of horror, while the wicked bunkers at Royal Liverpool presented even experienced players with unforeseen challenges.

Two big disasters at the Players Championship

There were two major mishaps at the Players Championship in March. Firstly, Aaron Wise experienced a real debacle on hole 18 at the TPC Sawgrass and only narrowly escaped the highest score on the last hole at the Players Championship. The 26-year-old started on hole 18 with two over par – a sextuple bogey almost resulted in the worst score on this hole. His tee shots landed in the water three times in a row. Wise finished the last hole with ten strokes and slipped to penultimate place on the leaderboard (T141).

On Sunday in the final, there was another disaster that cost Taylor Montgomery 1.4 million dollars. At the Players Championship, the 28-year-old was on the verge of collecting the biggest cheque of his career to date. At ten under par, he was in the top five with four holes to go and with four pars he would have finished third and, like Tom Hoge and Viktor Hovland, would have collected 1.475 million US dollars in prize money. But no Players Championship without drama on the 17th! One of the most iconic and famous holes in the world of golf cost Montgomery four strokes after he had already had to accept a bogey and a double bogey. First, he sank his tee shot into the water on the short par-3, which is particularly nerve-wracking but always unpredictable due to the unpredictable wind. Then, after the drop, his second attempt was also too long and also ended up in the water.

Bunker Fails 2023

Bunkers are among the most unpleasant obstacles on golf courses. Amateur players in particular have their difficulties with the sand holes in the middle of their favourite golf courses. One amateur was particularly unlucky this year when, after a few air shots, he only made it off the edge of the bunker on the ninth shot.

This year, however, even the pros had their problems. At the British Open at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, the dreaded pot bunkers spoilt many a player’s top placing. On the very first day, the bunkers threw a spanner in the works for Lucas Herbert. Herbert misjudged his tee shot with the gap wedge slightly to the left and landed in one of the brutal pot bunkers. This was followed by an uncomfortable shot with a leg outside the bunker. This fell short and rolled back into the bunker. This was followed by shot number 4 and then two putts for a triple bogey.

Memorable rule errors

Golf is a complicated game. Even the pros sometimes lose track of the many rules. This was the case for Julien Brun, who incurred two penalty strokes at the DS Automobiles Italian Open. The Frenchman had apparently forgotten a rule change that prohibited players from picking up and cleaning their own ball on the fairway at the weekend – this was still permitted in the first two rounds. This rule had obviously completely passed Brun by, or he had simply forgotten it. Because on the very first hole of his third round, he picked up his ball to clean it and promptly conceded a penalty stroke. The result: a bogey. Anyone thinking that the man had learnt from his mistake was wrong. Because he made the exact same mistake again on the sixth hole. Again it was penalty stroke and bogey. Brun took it with humour.

It was even more bitter for Curtis Luck on the Korn Ferry Tour. Within the extensive rules of golf, there are numerous reasons to be disqualified during the round. Only very few manage to be disqualified before the round. Curtis Luck made this annoying faux pas this year. He arrived too late for his tee-off and his eligibility to start was ruined. According to the rules, anyone who arrives late will be disqualified.

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Confirmed: Jon Rahm joins LIV Golf

After weeks of rumours, it is now officially confirmed: Jon Rahm will play at LIV Golf from the coming season. This means that the reigning Masters champion and world number three will be joining the tour, which was launched in 2022.

Jon Rahm: “I am officially joining LIV Golf”

“As you can see now it’s official. This is me finally saying after all the rumours, some of them were true, and I am officially joining LIV Golf,” Rahm said in an interiew with Fox News. “It’s not an easy decision. I’ve had a very successful career and I’m happy. There are a lot of things that LIV Golf have to offer which were very enticing, starting with team golf.” The Spaniard will even have his own LIV Golf team, but details of this will be announced at a later date.

In an interview with Fox News, the 29-year-old did not want to confirm any concrete information about the sum that Jon Rahm will ultimately receive for his transfer, but sums of between 300 and 600 million dollars were rumoured in advance. However, Jon Rahm reiterated his position that he is not interested in the money. “I play golf for the love of the game and for the love of golf. I’m an ambitious person but I’m not a greedy one.” As a husband and father, however, he said it was still important to him to provide his family with as many opportunities and as many resources as possible.

Rahm: “I can make it something very special.”

However, the main reason for his decision was: “The love of the game and wanting to grow it in a global market. Being part of the team. Being a captain. Hopefully being a leader to team-mates. It makes me want to work harder than I have done now to actually prove myself.”

“Hopefully some time in the future some kids in Spain will want to be part of this team that I am going to build. Hopefully it’s something that I am related to for a very long time. Hopefully until the day I die. And I can make it something very special.”

Jon Rahm is the next high-calibre golf star to join LIV Golf, after players such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau have joined LIV Golf in recent years.

Rahm had originally ruled out a switch, showing no interest in the format and pledging his allegiance to the PGA Tour. However, some time has passed since then and there have been a number of changes in the golf landscape, most notably the co-operation between the PGA and DP World Tour and the PIF. Rahm was also scheduled to be a member of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s TGL, but withdrew from the project before its postponement to 2025 was announced. As things stand, his move to LIV will cost him his PGA Tour membership and could jeopardise future Ryder Cup appearances.

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Under Armour: The “Cold Weather Golf Kit” for 2023

Extend your season with the Under Armour Cold Weather Golf Kit for winter 2023. A full head-to-toe kit designed for golfers who refuse to let cold, wet weather keep them off the golf course, the Cold Weather Golf Kit utilises Under Armour’s best apparel innovations and technologies for winter.
The originators of performance apparel, Under Armour has been the go-to brand for Golfers in the UK looking for the most innovative apparel products year-round.
With a strong heritage of introducing technological advancements in water-repellency in the shape of Under Armour Storm, lightweight insulation through ColdGear Infrared, and adaptive layering with thermal regulation innovations, Under Armour continues to deliver performance to golfers without weighing you down.

Under Armour launches new fall/winter collection

With the Cold Weather Golf Kit, Under Armour is once again pushing the boundaries of innovation and technological advancement further to help golfers fight the cold.
The new Storm Revo Jacket is now 33% lighter while being 74% warmer thanks to a breakthrough in UAs insulation innovations, and delivers more warmth for golfers looking to stay out on the course.
For those grinding on their game through the coldest winter nights at the range, UA introduces the Storm Session Gilet and Storm Session Jacket.
Made possible through an updated Coldgear Infrared print that retains body heat and distributes it back to the wearer, these garments offer the ultimate in thermo-regulation.
The CGI Taper Pants up the ante against the elements in winter by offering an added layer of protection from the cold and rain, these pants are super warm thanks to the Coldgear Infrared print on the inside and highly water-repellent thanks to UA Storm.
As golfers look for even more warmth, new look Storm Sweaterfleece and Storm Daytona franchises will be must-have pieces for the winter wardrobe. With products available in vest, hoody, ½ zip option for both, as well a full-zip Storm Daytona.

The Under Armour fall/winter collection 2023. (Photo: Under Armour)
The Under Armour fall/winter collection 2023. (Photo: Under Armour)

In the rainwear category, Under Armour offers golfers the Stormproof 3.0 Jacket and Trouser as well as an all new Stormproof Cloudstrike Jacket. Highly breathable and stretchy materials make UA’s rainwear offering for FW23 its most extensive and innovative to date while offering total protection from the elements.
Completing the Cold Weather Golf Kit is a full line of cold weather accessories including CGI Winter Gloves, CGI Mitts and winter Headwear including the CGI Pom Beanie.

Shop Under Armour at Amazon

Text: Under Armour

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Ryder Cup 2023: Europeans remain undefeated on Friday

In the morning, the Europeans gave their opponents no chance and made history with a score of 4 to 0. In the afternoon, the fourball matches for the stars were on the agenda. Here, Team USA made it much more difficult for the host team. While the duo McIlroy/Fitzpatrick won a clear point for Europe, the three remaining flights provided for highest tension. Team Europe secured a shared point three times at the last moment.

Europe vs USA
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Ryder Cup 2023: High Voltage on the 18th Green

Europe Result USA
Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton  4 & 3 Europa Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth

As the first flight of the tournament, Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton made it to the 18th hole of the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in a duel against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Both the European and American teams were ahead at times, but each relinquished the lead. Finally, on the decisive 18, it looked as if Team USA would win the whole point, but Viktor Hovland holed a last, long putt and thus saved a half point for Team Europe. One person in particular was delighted: Shane Lowry, who did not play in the afternoon, was visibly cheering along with his teammates.

Europe Result USA
Jon Rahm and Nicolai Hojgaard  4 & 3 Europa Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka

Jon Rahm and Nicolai Hojgaard delivered at least as exciting a finish to share the point. In the duel against world number 1 Scottie Scheffler and LIV player Brooks Koepka, there was no clear favorite over 18 holes. In the end, the Americans dominated the match, which spurred Jon Rahm on to top performance. After already causing a roaring crowd with a chip-in eagle on hole 16, he also holed out for an eagle on hole 18 to secure another half point for the hosts.

Europe Result USA
Robert MacIntyre and Justin Rose  2 & 1 Europa Max Homa and Wyndham Clark

The final four players on the course early Friday evening were Robert MacIntyre and Justin Rose in play against Max Homa and Wyndham Clark. Those two duos also turned in similarly strong performances, leaving Team USA teeing off at ‘1up’ on the 18th tee. But all good things come in threes: In this flight, too, the Europeans grabbed a half point at the last second, sending the American team into the second day without a single full point.

Europe Result USA
Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick  2 & 1 Europa Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele

The only full point for the Europeans was secured in the afternoon by Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick in their battle against Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele. The duel was already over after 15 holes, because the Americans had no chance against McIlroy and Fitzpatrick. Matt Fitzpatrick in particular delivered a flawless performance on Friday afternoon and gave Team Europe an early lead. At times they dominated the duel with ‘6up’.

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Shane Lowry: “I Started Losing My Mind On The First Tee”

Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka are off to a perfect start at the 2023 Ryder Cup. The Irish-Austrian duo defeated Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa with 2&1. In the interview after the first session at the Ryder Cup in Rome, the two speak openly about their nerves and how they enjoyed being celebrated by the fans together at the same time.

Question: How big does this moment feel?

Shane Lowry: Huge, obviously it’s early days but I wanted to give Sepp his moment in the Ryder Cup to hole the pin winning putt. It’s huge. We are off to a great start this morning. We need to keep the foot down. Myself and Sepp gelled well today. Very happy out there with him and enjoyed myself.

Question: Sepp, how much did you enjoy your first taste of a Ryder Cup?

Sepp Straka: Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. Can’t really describe it. The expectations didn’t even come close.

Question: How well did you play together? How comfortable did you feel with each other today?

Shane Lowry: We’ve probably known for maybe a couple of weeks that we might go out this morning together. You know, we played the same golf, all use the same stuff, so kind of made sense. We were similar-type people but I’m a bit more fiery than him. Sepp is very laid back. We enjoyed it out there, and I feel like we played some good golf.

Felt like we dodged a few bullets out there, especially 11 and 12, around then, but you know, you’re going to have that in match play. Just have to dig deep and we did. You know, I would have liked to close out the match earlier because we had good chances, but it was nice to put a point on the board for Europe.

Question: A third blue point on the board for The European Team today. Got to ask you Shane, you stepped out on the first tee and one of the first things you saw was Viktor Hovland chipping in at first. How much did that motivate you?

Shane Lowry: I was trying to stay calm and started losing my mind on the first tee. Yeah, for a guy they say can’t chip, Viktor did all right on that hole.

Look, we are very happy with our start today and obviously there’s a lot of golf to be played from here. We talked about getting off to a fast start and we have done.

Question: How are the nerves hitting the first tee shot in your first Ryder Cup?

Sepp Straka: Very. Very nervous. Yeah, couldn’t even really describe. The blood was flowing. Heartbeat was up. Thankfully I made contact with the ball, so I think that’s a win.

Question: You didn’t play foursomes at Whistling Straits. How different was this experience today?

Shane Lowry: Yeah, it was cool. Look, I came here with an open mind this week; I’ll do whatever the captain asks me. He wanted me to go out this morning with Sepp.

It’s nice to go around with a Rookie and bring him around the place. I think the last few days got the Rookies ready for what today was going to be like. It was amazing.

It’s my first home Ryder Cup, as well, and obviously last time at Whistling Straits wasn’t the best experience and out there today was just incredible. With the crowd cheering you down every green and every fairway, it’s incredible to have home support.