Four players to watch during the 2021 Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup season is upon us once again, and with it comes the first time the golfing battle between Europe and the United States has been held since 2018.

In fact, it’s the first time it’s been held in the United States since 2016, when the US team triumphed 17-11 at the Hazeltine National Golf Club.

After Europe regained the trophy in France in 2018, the tournament takes place at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin this time around.

USA captain Steve Stricker and Europe captain Padraig Harrington – both winners of the Ryder Cup as players – will look to help guide their respective teams to glory in what should be an action-packed three days of golf.

Here’s four players (two from each side) to keep an eye out for during the tournament, which runs from September 24-26:

Jon Rahm (Europe)

To say the least, the last three months have certainly been eventful for golf’s world number one, Jon Rahm.

In June, the Spaniard held a six-stroke lead going into the final round of the prestigious Memorial Tournament, only to find out that he had tested positive for Covid-19, forcing him to miss day four.

Later in the month, he won the US Open – his first ever Grand Slam title – before being awarded the PGA Player of the Year award.

As the sport’s top-ranked player, Rahm will likely play a key part if Europe do succeed in retaining their Ryder Cup crown.

Tommy Fleetwood (Europe)

Tommy Fleetwood was one of the golfers who took the 2018 Ryder Cup by storm.

Himself and Francesco Molinari – dubbed ‘Moliwood’ – won all four of their matches as a pair. They were the first duo ever to achieve that feat at the event.

With Molinari not present at this year’s staging, Fleetwood will have to make do with a new partner for the foursome and fourball matches. If he can perform at similar levels to how he did in France, expect the 30-year-old to have a strong weekend.

Xander Schauffele (United States)

One of six captain’s picks for the United States team, Xander Schauffele is competing in his first Ryder Cup in 2021.

The 27-year-old has firmly established himself as one of golf’s most consistent players over recent years. Currently ranked world number five, Schauffele has finished in the top five of majors on seven occasions since the beginning of 2017.

In June of this year, he won Olympic gold in the men’s golf event at Tokyo 2020. He’ll be hoping to carry that form into Whistling Straits.

Collin Morikawa (United States)

Like Schauffele, Collin Morikawa is competing in his first ever Ryder Cup, and has an Tokyo Olympic medal (in his case, bronze) to his name.

The last 12 months have been simply sensational for the 24-year-old. He won the PGA Championship at the first attempt in August 2020, before lifting the Claret Jug as a result of winning The Open Championship in July of this year.

Can he add being part of a Ryder Cup success to a quickly growing list of career accomplishments?

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