Captains Donald and Johnson take the Ryder Cup to the Colosseum

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Luke Donald and Zach Johnson at the Colosseum (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Luke Donald and Zach Johnson took the Ryder Cup to one of Rome’s most iconic landmarks, the Colosseum, for a golf shot like no other as the Year To Go Celebrations continued in Italy.

The two captains chipped shots from a specifically built platform to a Ryder Cup green located in Tempio di Venere Roma (Temple of Venus and Roma), in the shadow of the world-famous Colosseum.

European Captain Donald and United States Captain Johnson are in Rome to mark 12 months until Italy hosts its first Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, from September 26 to October 1, 2023.

The pair took the famous Ryder Cup trophy into the heart of Rome to the Colosseum, one of the city’s most historic sights which attracts millions of tourists each year.

Built in the 1st Century AD, the stone amphitheatre was a gathering place during the Roman Empire, with a capacity of around 50,000 people.

Captain Donald said: “The Colosseum is iconic when it comes to Rome, built back in 80 A.D., I was reading up about it. It is still the biggest amphitheatre ever be to built. It’s amazing they were able to do such amazing things back so many years ago.

“So to have that as a backdrop was a great showcase for Italy and a great showcase for Rome.”

Captain Johnson said: “It was an unbelievable morning and to share it with Luke and Diane and my wife was special. I mean, it’s almost surreal. The backdrop of the Colosseum, the Temple of Venus, it’s something that you just kind of pinch yourself. It was very spectacular, and I appreciate that opportunity, so thank you.”

The Captains’ visit to the Colosseum and Tempio di Venere Roma marked the second day of the Year To Go Celebrations, and the pair also hosted their first joint press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Yesterday, Donald and Johnson were joined by 12 members of the Federazione Italiana Golf’s (FIG) Elite National Under 18 team – six boys and six girls aged 15-18 – and four members of the Elite Disabled team for the four-hole Captains’ Challenge match over the first, 16th, 17th and 18th holes at Marco Simone.

Approximately 300 local school children watched the event, which fittingly ended in a tie, with the two teams sharing the trophy.

On Monday evening, the two Captains joined 200 guests at the Official Gala Dinner which took place at the spectacular Palazzo Colonna.

Marco Simone will host the 2023 Ryder Cup from September 26 to October 1, 2023, when Europe will try to regain the Ryder Cup following defeat at Whistling Straits last year.

Fans can apply for tickets to be at Marco Simone for the Ryder Cup, including practice days, the Junior Ryder Cup and the three match days, via the Ryder Cup ballot which closes on October 16. Visit www.rydercup.com for further information and to enter the ballot.

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