Skip to content

Ryder Cup: Nick Faldo has Europe favourites to beat USA in Rome

The 44th edition of the Ryder Cup will see it contested in Italy for the first time when Marco Simone Golf and Country Club hosts this year's matches between Europe and the USA; watch all three days live on Sky Sports Golf from 6am on Friday and stream with NOW

Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, 2023 Ryder Cup
Image: Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are two of the standouts from a strong-looking European lineup at the 2023 Ryder Cup

​​​​​​​Ryder Cup legend, and six-time major winner, Nick Faldo is giving the Europeans the edge over Team USA in Rome this week, predicting the hosts to regain the trophy.

Faldo represented Europe a record 11 times at the Ryder Cup, winning 25 points, while he also captained the team in 2008, albeit in a losing cause at Valhalla.

The US romped to a record 19-9 victory at Whistling Straights two years ago, but Faldo believes Europe can emerge victorious again.

"I would lean to Europe," Faldo said in an exclusive interview on the Sky Sports Golf Podcast.

"For either team, your 'big four' have got to do the heavy lifting. And you look at our big three right now - Rory [McIlroy], Jon [Rahm] and Viktor [Hovland] - they're great.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Rory McIlroy explains why he feels his connection with the Ryder Cup team has never been stronger, ahead of the opening day of this year's event.

"You need a fourth, whoever that will be this week. Luke [Donald] will be looking for that. He will want four really solid guys, who will probably have to play five matches.

"If you luck out and get a rookie [do well] - and the Americans don't really know these two guys (Nicolai Hojgaard and Ludvig Aberg) - that's very useful and powerful."

Also See:

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Team Europe rookie Ludvig Aberg laughed off a reporter's suggestion that he could rival ABBA as one of Sweden's most famous stars!

Faldo also questioned some of USA captain Zach Johnson's six wildcard picks - Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa. Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas - raising concerns over their form coming in.

"Those six picks, if they're playing great, they are great," he said. "But they're all - even Brooks [Koepka] - running a bit hot and cold.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Brooks Koepka, the only LIV Golf player to qualify for the Ryder Cup, insists other LIV players should have played 'better' if they wanted to take part in the tournament

"Justin Thomas, has he got it? Rickie Fowler, sure he has found his game, but he hasn't really spent much time in the deep end.

"I've been to Ryder Cups when you haven't quite got your game and it is scary. There is no build-up and way to ease yourself into it.

"If your game is a little off, it doesn't protect you. If it goes wrong the first half a dozen holes, more than likely it means you're in for a brutal week"

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sky Sports' Ali Silk has everything you need to know about the match play format and the points-scoring system for the Ryder Cup.

Faldo added: "I can't wait. This week is going to be epic - the whole atmosphere [of a Ryder Cup], the intensity, it's special."

Also on the podcast, Faldo reflects on his storied Ryder Cup history and, specifically, his relationship with the late, great Seve Ballesteros.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

We explain why the opening hole of the Ryder Cup is 'unique' and what the players will expect at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club

He also discusses the difference between the modern game and his time at the top, as well as the unique challenges the Marco Simone golf course will pose to the players at the Ryder Cup this week.

Download and listen to the latest Sky Sports Golf podcast and don't forget to subscribe via Spotify, Spreaker or Apple Podcasts! If you'd like to contact the podcast, then you can email at

Live coverage from the opening day of the Ryder Cup begins on Friday from 6am on Sky Sports Golf. There's also live content each day in the build-up to the tournament. Stream the PGA Tour, DP Tour, Ryder Cup and more with NOW.

Around Sky