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02nd Oct 2023

Ryder Cup player ratings as Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy shut down US critics


Lucky. Weak Link. No threat. Least Valuable Player.

Shane Lowry is a consistent, world-class player who more that merited his place on Europe’s Ryder Cup team, yet had to endure weeks upon weeks of speculation and doubt, at home and in the USA.

Lowry had been part of a European team that were rollicked 19-9 at Whistling Straits, in 2021. He had not played to his potential, over there, but only Jon Rahm had. Rory McIlroy had a disaster and Viktor Hovland was a greenhorn, taking his licks and hoping to learn as much as he could from the American beatdown. Tommy Fleetwood had been a 2018 hero but struggled, too, in Wisconsin. His ‘bottle’ was openly questioned.

When Luke Donald selected his six captain’s picks for the Ryder Cup, in Rome, Lowry was one of the threads that naysayers pulled at. Matt Fitzpatrick, even with a major in the bank, was another. Some questioned the sagacity of selecting unproven rookies Nicolas Højgaard and Ludvig Åberg.

As it all played out, Europe rolled America 10.5 to 5.5 in the paired match-ups and split the singles. On the final day, as the Ryder Cup was reclaimed, McIlroy reigned supreme, Rahm and Hovland set the tempo, Fleetwood secured the winning point and Lowry followed right behind him, halving a tense match with three-time major winner Jordan Spieth.

On the popular No Laying Up podcast, McIlroy, Rahm, Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton and Justin Rose all got ‘A’ grades from the show’s American hosts. Lowry, who proved himself as rock solid on and off the course, got a ‘B’.

After an epic three-day stint, covering all the big 2023 Ryder Cup talking points and matches, golf writer Paddy Morgan has delivered his final ratings for both sides.

Ryder Cup player ratings

Ryder Cup player ratings – By Paddy Morgan


Rory McIlroy – 9

Europe Ryder Cup Captain Luke Donald finally found a pairing for McIlroy as he won two foursome matches with Tommy Fleetwood. McIlroy lead by example and didn’t let the hat story with Joe LaCava affect him as he won four out of five matches.

Jon Rahm – 9

Rahm was outstanding with driving greens and nearly achieving two holes in one. Europe vice-captain Jose Maria Olazabal helped Rahm as The Masters champion won three points out of four matches.

Viktor Hovland – 9

Hovland was sensational at Marco Simone and has no weaknesses in his game. Hovland got a massive half point created history on Saturday winning 9&7 and got a massive win against Collin Morikawa in the singles.

Tommy Fleetwood – 8

Fleetwood continued his outstanding record as he is now unbeaten playing in the foursomes for three Ryder Cup’s. Fleetwood hit one of the best shots in his life to close his singles match against Rickie Fowler and this win confirmed Europe as 2023 Ryder Cup winners.

Justin Rose – 7

Rose lead by example and used all his experience to win 1.5 points with rookie Robert MacIntyre. Rose never gave up and the amount of putts he holed were incredible especially against Patrick Cantlay in the singles.

Shane Lowry – 7

Lowry’s partnership with Sepp Straka worked very well as they won one point in the foursomes. Lowry came from three down to achieve a half in the singles and won 1.5 points out of three appearances.

Ryder Cup player rankings

Tyrrell Hatton – 8

Hatton was another player that stepped up in Rome especially in striking a fantastic foursome partnership with Rahm to win two points. Hatton also done his job by going out and getting a point in the singles against Brian Harman.

Matt Fitzpatrick – 6

Fitzpatrick went out with a point to prove as he got his first ever Ryder Cup point in the fourballs with McIlroy. Fitzpatrick achieved one win and two defeats at Marco Simone.

Sepp Straka – 7

Straka became the first Austrian to win a game at the Ryder Cup after winning a foursomes match with Lowry on day one. Straka nearly got the opportunity of holing the winning putt until he was beaten by Justin Thomas on the 18th green.

Robert MacIntyre – 7

MacIntyre came alive in the fourballs session on day two as he played a great bunker shot at the 15 th hole which was crucial in winning his match with Rose. MacIntyre was last out in the singles and achieved a great win against current US Open champion Wyndham Clark.

Ludvig Aberg – 6.5

Aberg was exceptional especially in winning 9&7 with Hovland on day two. Aberg achieved two points from four games but has plenty of Ryder Cup’s ahead of him.

Nicolai Hojgaard – 5

A bit of a mix bag for Hojgaard with only achieving a half from two fourball games. Hojgaard put up a good fight but unfortunately lost his singles match to Xander Schauffele.

Ryder Cup player rankings


Scottie Scheffler – 5

Scheffler got off to a poor start as he lost his opening foursome match with Sam Burns but achieved a half in the fourballs on day one with Brooks Koepka. Scheffler was in tears after losing 9&7 with Koepka but world number one bounced back as he got a half against Rahm in the singles.

Patrick Cantlay – 8

Cantlay was unfortunate not to play in the fourballs on day one. Cantlay holed fantastic putts to win his fourball match on day two and followed this up with a great win in the singles against Rose.

Xander Schauffele – 5

Schauffele was very disappointing as he lost his two foursome games with Cantlay. Schauffele restored a bit of credit as he won his singles game 3&2 against Hojgaard.

Brooks Koepka – 5

Koepka achieved a half point on day one but was a part of the 9&7 hammering with Scheffler against Hovland and Aberg. Koepka was back to his best in the singles as he won 3&2 against Aberg but only achieved 1.5 points from three games.

Max Homa – 9

Homa was America’s best player especially when he won his foursomes match on day two to stop Europe running away with the Ryder Cup. Homa won an impressive 3.5 points from five games.

Justin Thomas – 6

Thomas as a pick was questionable due to current form but actually played well in holing great putts and hitting multiple great shots. Thomas achieved 1.5 points from four games but could of got more only for his partner Jordan Spieth putting him in terrible positions.

Jordan Spieth – 4

Spieth hit the ball all over the place especially with his driver but as always played some outstanding chip shots. Spieth played better against Lowry in the singles but only managed a half point and only achieved one point out of four matches.

Collin Morikawa – 4

Morikawa lost his two matches on day one and was back to his best as he won with Burns in the fourballs on day two. Morikawa was outclassed by Hovland in the singles and only achieved one point from four matches.

Sam Burns – 4

Burns lost in the opening match on day one but came out firing as he won on day two with Morikawa. Burns lost to McIlroy in the singles and only achieved one point from three games.

Brian Harman – 6

Harman worked extremely hard and won two points with Homa. The Open champion lost to Hatton in the singles and only achieved two wins out of three matches.

Wyndham Clark – 4

Clark would love to play the 18 th again as he failed to reach the green in two on multiple occasions. Clark only achieved to win one game from three matches.

Rickie Fowler – 4

Fowler was under the weather and only played one game out of four on Friday and Saturday. Fowler lost to Fleetwood in the singles and lost two games.

Europe’s best player: Rory McIlroy

USA’s best player: Max Homa.

Europe Ryder Cup Captain Luke Donald – 9

Was outstanding especially with his pairings and was fantastic with preparation in getting all 12 players to travel to Marco Simone for a practice round.

USA Ryder Cup Captain Zach Johnson – 5

Was disappointing especially with strange pairings and all American players should have played in the Italian Open over the last couple of years to get more familiar with Marco Simone.


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