USA Ryder Cup Team surprised by length of Marco Simone rough

Fatiha Betscher

The USA team during a practice session at Marco Simone (Photo: Ryder Cup USA)

The USA Ryder Cup side have paid a visit to Marco Simone, the host venue for this month’s 44th hosting of the biennial competition between Europe and the United States.

All bar three members of the US team – Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele – travelled to Rome to inspect the host course just north of the Italian capital.

Spieth chose to remain home as his wife is expecting the couple’s second child, while Cantlay and Schauffele also cited family matters as reasons for their absence.


A three-time Italian Open host on the DP World Tour, it was Marco Simone’s rough that the American team members found most striking. Not just a bit of rough, but deep, lush, juicy-looking and possibly match-determining rough.

USA captain Zach Johnson took nine of his men, along with a couple of caddies, to not only learn more about the host course, but to check-out their team headquarters when they’ll be stationed when the competition gets underway on September 29th.

Johnson shared his views on the quick inspection visit and admitted it was the rough, and the length of it, that got his attention.

“The common sentiment that I heard on the golf course was they really liked it, which is awesome,” Johnson said.

“The rough was very thick. That was the other nugget that we talked about a lot.”

Following their practice round on Saturday, the members of Team USA flew back to the States.

The Europeans will play the course Monday, and will likely be seeing plenty of each other in the week following with captain Luke Donald and the dozen European team members all teeing it up at the BMW PGA Championship at DP World Tour HQ at Wentworth.

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