“The Ryder Cup means a lot to both of those, I found that out over the last couple of weeks. Jon was really inspired by the Ryder Cup back in ’97.
“The first time he really came to golf was going to Ryder Cup at Valderrama. It’s not just about winning majors, it’s about coming to Ryder Cup and contributing to European wins.”
While Donald highlights the pair’s passion, a dark sense of humour may prove equally pivotal across tomorrow morning, with Hatton left chuckling at the prospect of a swear-off between the two.
“I don’t understand why Jon doesn’t swear in Spanish. Why does he swear in English? He would probably get away with it if he just swore in Spanish. I think I would probably win in a swear-off. I’ve got everyone covered when it comes to that. Doesn’t matter what we’re doing. I’m swearing. F*** off.”
A glimpse of the cauldron that awaits both on that first tee could be seen just before the final practice rounds on Thursday. Collin Morikawa looked up, startled by a sudden cheer that crackled around Marco Simone as he entered the driving range. Viktor Hovland had just finished warming up, crushing balls with his driver, and hundreds of European fans showered him with love as he marched towards the first tee.
Tyrrell Hatton and Jon Rahm provide theatre on the course with their ‘passion’
This event elevates personalities and those willing to thrive under pressure will prosper. Wyndham Clark could be one of those, despite sitting out the morning session with a Ryder Cup debut alongside Brooks Koepka pencilled in for the afternoon. Clark epitomises the theatre Rahm and Hatton will inevitably bring.
The US Open champion, who has been pushing for a match against Rory McIlroy this week, continues to embrace the feverish atmosphere. Sporting a Roma shirt, with teammate Max Homa representing Lazio, Clark strolled down the 18th hole on the eve of the tournament before playing the crowd like the conductor of an orchestra, turning up the volume around the final hole’s amphitheater. Clark, who sprayed miniature footballs into the crowd with his wedge, appears ready for a defining role in this American defence.
“I’m really excited to be here,” Clark concluded after finalising his preparation, before predicting “USA by a million” when pushed for a prediction.
“I’m looking forward to the start and learning more about myself. I do well on big stages with a lot of fans, so I’m hoping it brings the best out of me.”
Le Golf National shows the first match, or even session, is not pivotal, but Rahm and Hatton provide the ingredients for something special. Get ready to meet Team Angry.
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