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Ryder Cup 2023: We were told Italy wasn’t a “golf country” but the vibes on the first tee on Saturday were unmatched

September 30, 2023

“Italy isn’t a golf country” some said. “Europe will struggle getting fans to the Ryder Cup” others theorized. “Marco Simone was a mistake.” “The U.S. might actually do it this year.” All of that and plenty more was said in the build up to the 2023 Ryder Cup. Yes, occasionally even by us. But now, a little over halfway through the 44th edition of golf’s most hotly contested international tourney, we can safely that all of that was, patently, wrong.

You can look at the scoreboard if you need proof, but it’s a lot more fun (especially if you’re an American golf fan) to just check out the scenes on the first tee on Saturday. Sound way the hell up.

Incredible stuff. The songs. The thunder clap. The Seve tifo. It’s almost as good as a Saturday noon kickoff between Purdue and Iowa. OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point: Nobody does live sports like those tracksuit-loving Euros, especially when they have the chance to remind Americans who their daddy is.

Despite those early reports, the support has made a big difference at Marco Simone. There’s a reason the scoreboard looks the way it does: Because Europe is playing with an extra man out there.