Matt Fitzpatrick and Robert MacIntyre today confirmed their places on Luke Donald’s 2023 European Ryder Cup team at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club.
Qualifying via the World Points List, Fitzpatrick enjoyed a strong finish in Switzerland and the FedExCup Playoffs to overhaul countryman Tommy Fleetwood and secure the last of the three automatic qualifying berths via the World Points List alongside Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton.
Having previously featured at the Ryder Cup on US soil in 2016 and 2021, Matt Fitzpatrick is now set for his home debut at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club.
MacIntyre will make his first appearance for Team Europe in Rome later this month after securing the third automatic qualification spot on the European Points List.
With it all to play for in the final event of the year, the 27-year-old came out on top with a tied 55th finish in Switzerland to confirm his place in the team that will head to Marco Simone Golf & Country Club – the site of his second DP World Tour title.
Ryder Cup ranking: 5 (World Points)
Ryder Cup appearances: 2 (2016, 2021)
Ryder Cup record: 0-5-0
How did he qualify?
In the second week of the qualifying process, Fitzpatrick finished runner-up at the DS Automobiles Italian Open as he lost out to Robert MacIntyre in a play-off at this year’s Ryder Cup host venue.
He closed out the 2022 DP World Tour season with a tie for fifth at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, before he began 2023 with a tie for seventh in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Fitzpatrick sustained a neck injury before his next PGA TOUR start, however, a top ten at the Masters hinted at a return to form and he duly won the very next week at the RBC Heritage in a play-off against defending champion Jordan Spieth.
The victory saw Fitzpatrick return to the top ten on the Official World Golf Ranking, where he has since remained, but it is his past two performances at the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship that enabled him to secure an automatic qualifying spot.
Ryder Cup experience
Fitzpatrick made his Ryder Cup debut in 2016 at Hazeltine after qualifying via the World Points List.
Under the captaincy of Darren Clarke, he played in two sessions across the three days, losing in Saturday’s morning foursomes and Sunday’s singles.
After missing out on the team at Le Golf National in 2018, the Englishman returned to the fold again at Whistling Straits in 2021 as an automatic qualifier through the World Points List.
He was unable to find his footing in Foursomes play alongside Lee Westwood, losing both their matches together, before succumbing to Daniel Berger in the final singles match of the week when his approach to the 18th found the penalty area.
Fitzpatrick does have match-winning experience as part of European teams at the EurAsia Cup in both 2016 and 2018.
In his two past appearances in the Ryder Cup, Fitzpatrick has played with two different players across three foursomes matches.
His first taste of the Ryder Cup came in Saturday’s morning foursomes at Hazeltine as he and Henrik Stenson suffered a 3&2 defeat to Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka.
At Whistling Straits, Team Europe Captain Padraig Harrington opted to pair him with Westwood –who he played alongside at the 2016 EurAsia Cup.
But having since taken his game to new heights as a Major Champion, Fitzpatrick will hope to secure his first points in the contest in front of home fans.
World Ranking: 55
Ryder Cup ranking: 3 (European Points)
Ryder Cup appearances: ROOKIE
How he qualified
In just the second week of European Qualification last year, MacIntyre made an early but lasting impression with his second DP World Tour victory at Ryder Cup venue Marco Simone, where he beat Matt Fitzpatrick to the title with a birdie on the first play-off hole.
His year to date has been typified by stringing together a series of good results, which was exemplified by three consecutive top tens earlier in the season in Kenya, Japan and Korea, before he was sidelined by injury during his title defence in Italy.
He returned to action after two weeks off, but it wasn’t until he followed a top five in Himmerland with a gutsy final round at the Genesis Scottish Open in July that he propelled himself into the third spot on the European Points List. A stunning approach to set up a birdie on the final hole saw MacIntyre set the clubhouse target with a 64 in tough conditions in Scotland, but Rory McIlroy ended his hopes of a home win on that occasion with a miraculous finish of his own. Still, a runner-up finish in a Rolex Series event was enough to move the Scot into automatic qualification, and he’s held firm in that spot since.
A recent tie for fourth at the D+D REAL Czech Masters helped increase MacIntyre’s advantage over nearest challenger Yannik Paul, and after making the cut on the number in Switzerland, he did enough to hold onto his spot with a tied 55th place finish.
MacIntyre might be a rookie on this team, but he is not short of match-play experience, having featured in nine amateur team competitions, two editions of the WGC Dell-Technologies Match Play, and the 2023 Hero Cup.
The Scot, who memorably defeated Cameron Champ 6&4 during his first singles match at the 2017 Walker Cup, was quick to impress on his first outing at the WGC Dell-Technologies Match Play in 2021. He topped his group to make it to the knock-out stages that year, and the following year beat European Ryder Cup record points holder Sergio Garcia 4&2 in group play.
He was also part of the Great Britain & Ireland side at the inaugural Hero Cup under Tommy Fleetwood’s Captaincy, with a 1-3-0 record that doesn’t tell the whole story. MacIntyre was particularly strong in the foursomes – partnering with Jordan Smith on Saturday morning and pushing Adrian Meronk and Antoine Rozner to the 18th, before beating Victor Perez and Guido Migliozzi 2&1 alongside partner Seamus Power.