Welcome to GOLF.com’s “Seen & Heard” video series, in which we give you an inside look at golf’s biggest events through the eyes and ears of our onsite crew. On deck this week: the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome. Let’s go!
Need a pulse check? Take 45 seconds to watch the beginning of the video above — proof that there is nothing quite like the 1st tee at the Ryder Cup.
After days — and actually, years — of anticipation, the opening shots were struck at last on Friday, and GOLF’s Sean Zak and James Colgan were there to take it all in.
“The coolest seat in golf,” Zak remarked.
“We’re in the best place in the world right now,” Colgan concurred. “The best place in the physical universe.”
Europe’s fireworks began right away, with Viktor Hovland chipping in on the 1st green for birdie, eliciting a huge reaction from the crowd.
“If his uppercut is any indication, it’s gonna be a long week for the people playing Viktor Hovland,” Colgan said.
Colgan the sage.
As we all know by now, Friday morning was a European beatdown of epic proportions — a full sweep of the foursomes session in which the American contingent seemed hopelessly outmatched.
“I’ve never seen so many shots that just — the best players in the world are just disgusted with immediately,” Zak commented.
The afternoon session seemed like it would be a much-needed improvement for the Americans at first, but late-match heroics from the likes of Hovland, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose meant the Europeans held a commanding 6.5-1.5 lead at the end of the first day.
Team USA has a tough task ahead.
The action continues this weekend. Want a sneak preview? You can watch the crew’s highlights from Friday at Marco Simone in the video above, or click below to see all of the GOLF’s crew behind-the-scenes coverage on our Youtube channel.