Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Ryder Cup: Team Europe finds form in final outing before Rome | ‘It’s awesome,’ says Rory McIlroy

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In their last event ahead of the Ryder Cup seven of Team Europe’s players finish placed in the top 10 in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth; “It’s awesome. We’re in a good spot,” says Rory McIlroy; watch the Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup live on Sky Sports Golf this month

By John Dennen, Sports journalist

Team Europe’s players put in a strong showing at the BMW PGA Championship, finding their form in their last event before the Ryder Cup later this month.

On Sunday at Wentworth seven Team Europe representatives placed in the top 10, with Tyrrell Hatton edged out of the top spot by Ryan Fox to finish tied in second.

“I take some confidence from that,” Hatton said, looking forward to the “very special” weeks to come.

Highlights from the fourth and final round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

“Just to have that team sort of bond and the atmosphere that we create in that team room is amazing,” he continued.

“We all follow other sports outside of golf [and] sort of envy the guys that have the team bond, and for us to do it once every two years is great.

“It’s definitely one of the most special weeks that you can have in your career. I’m really excited to be part of Team Europe.”

All 12 members of the team made the cut in the BMW PGA Championship. Following Hatton, Jon Rahm came fourth, Viktor Hovland fifth and Tommy Fleetwood sixth.

Hovland promises there’s more to come from him too. “I would say I’m more pleased with the result over how I was playing. I didn’t make any big mistakes but I didn’t really feel like I was hitting it as good as I should,” he reflected.

After a clinical birdie putt at the 18th for Tyrell Hatton, Jon Rahm celebrates the Englishman’s success by letting out a fist pump at the BMW PGA Championship.

“[When] it started pouring down, a little bit of a challenge. The ball went so much shorter, and you really had to hit really nice shots to get close to the pin to make birdie. During that part, I was just trying to make pars and I’m glad I was able to pick up a couple birdies coming in.

“I’ll go to Norway and relax and practise a little bit, just maintain some things. It’s going to be a big week obviously in Rome so got to make sure that I’m up for it.”

Sepp Straka, who finished in joint-10th along with Ludvig Åberg on 12-under-par at Wentworth, is looking to be at his best at the Ryder Cup.

“I felt there were glimpses out there, especially the first two days’ ball-striking,” he said. “I don’t think it’s very far off. Hopefully tighten it up next week and bring it to Rome.”

He will relish the team aspect of the event too. “Having somebody there with you the first few times, and then just playing for something bigger than yourself, I think that’s huge,” Straka said.

Rory Mcllroy chips the ball in from off the green on the 16th, the seventh hole of his third round at the BMW PGA Championship.

Rory McIlroy only just made the cut but staged an impressive run on the final day, scoring 65 in the fourth round to tie for seventh place on 13 under par.

“Everything’s headed in the right direction,” he said. “I’m not far away.

“My good swings are good swings and I can hit good shots. Just managing the misses and just making sure that there’s not a lot of them in there. We are all going to hit bad shots from time to time. That’s natural and inevitable. But if I can eradicate them a little bit and be a little bit more consistent…

“I managed my game better but it would be nice to go to Rome without those misses.”

Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood both holed monster putts to move into contention for the lead at the BMW PGA Champship at Wentworth.

After the tournament at Wentworth, he is delighted with where Team Europe is in the final run-up to the Ryder Cup.

“It’s awesome. We’re in a good spot,” McIlroy said. “We had a really good day in Rome on Monday, the team’s been shaping up really well for the last couple of months, everyone’s been in pretty good form.

“It’s still almost two weeks away until the first ball is hit on the Friday morning but I’m sure you’ll ask all the boys that are coming in here they are all just so excited to get to Rome and get going.”

Live coverage from the opening day of the Ryder Cup begins on Friday September 29 from 6am on Sky Sports Golf, while live programming begins on Monday September 25. Stream the PGA Tour, DP Tour, Ryder Cup and more with NOW.

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