- McIlroy set to lead by example
- Donald’s captaincy praised
- USA favourites but Europe look set for strong challenge
As Europe and the United States prepare to do battle in the Ryder Cup at Rome’s Marco Simone course, Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy is poised to answer captain Luke Donald’s call to lead by example.
McIlroy pledges to lead with his clubs
Impressed by Donald’s captaincy style, the four-time major winner is eager to lend his support, emphasising actions over words in his leadership approach. “He doesn’t expect me to stand up there and make big speeches or say a lot of things,” remarked the 34-year-old McIlroy. “As Luke said, [I can] lead with my clubs, making birdies and getting blue on the board.”
McIlroy added: “If I can lead by example and be the first one to the team room if there is a meeting, first one on the bus on the way to the course.
“Anything like that where I’m still doing all the things that you should do and not getting complacent, that’s the way I would like to lead.”
McIlroy, currently ranked as the world number two, is preparing for his seventh Ryder Cup appearance, having played a pivotal role in securing the trophy for Europe on four previous occasions.
Donald, a four-time Ryder Cup winner himself, assumed the captaincy following Henrik Stenson’s departure due to his involvement with LIV Golf. Donald’s leadership potential and his seamless transition into the role were praised by McIlroy, who acknowledged the unique circumstances surrounding Donald’s appointment.
“I think he’s been fantastic,” said McIlroy of Donald. “He took the job in very weird circumstances I guess but he’s taken it in his stride and he’s been fantastic with me.”
McIlroy further expressed his confidence in Donald’s ability to connect with the younger, less experienced members of the team, allowing McIlroy to focus on his game. “I feel at this point I can take care of myself a little bit,” McIlroy noted.
The overall sentiment from the team is one of satisfaction with Donald’s leadership, praising the efforts of both the captain and his support staff. As the Ryder Cup draws nearer, fans can eagerly anticipate McIlroy’s performance and his potential to make a significant impact on the outcome of the competition.
The European team met at the Marco Simone course earlier this month for a recce. Several players have spoken positively about the time spent there, suggesting that Team Europe are building a good spirit. In recent weeks a number of Europe’s top players have shown good form. World number two McIlroy, who has enjoyed a consistent 2023, has overcome a back injury and is edging his way back to his best. While the USA remain favourites, Europe’s odds have shortened a little over the last couple of weeks and Donald’s men seem determined to wrestle the trophy back.
BetVictor currently have the USA at 10/11 to win with Europe at 6/5 and a draw at 12/1. Should the contest finish level then the United States, as holders, would retain the trophy. Therefore, at the time of writing, BetVictor have the USA at 4/6 to lift the trophy with Europe 6/5.
McIlroy is fancied to be Europe’s top points scorer with a number of bookies. At the time of writing the Northern Irishman is 9/2 with William Hill who have.Spaniard John Rahm at the same price. In-form Viktor Hovland is 11/2.
Odds are correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
The Ryder Cup takes place from September 29 – October 1 2023. Betting.com bring you all of the key information. Check out the best betting sites in the UK for the Ryder Cup and the best golf sportsbooks with Betting.com.