Five reasons why Europe can turn the tide and win the 2023 Ryder Cup in Italy

The USA crushed Padraig Harrington’s men at Whistling Straits but it could be a different story when the two lock horns again in Italy in two years’ time.

After the USA's team of young bucks thrashed Europe 19-9 at Whistling Straits, many predicted this to be the start of an era of American dominance.

Some of Europe's stalwarts such as Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood may now have played in their last Ryder Cups and this could be a painful period of transition before new stars can be bedded in.

The Americans are hot favourites to win the next Ryder Cup in Italy in 2023 but is it that simple?

Here, Planet Sport looks at how and why Europe could pull off a surprise.

Home advantage

It's all very well thrashing Europe on home American soil when the course is tailored in your favour, but can Team USA show that same dominance away from home?

There must be doubts. Look what happened after the Americans ran up convincing victories on their own turf in 2008 and 2016.

After they powered to a convincing 16.5-11.5 win at Valhalla, they lost to Europe at Celtic Manor in 2014. And after a 17-11 romp at Hazeltine, they were thrashed 17.5-10.5 at Le Golf National two years later.

As a team, the Americans are poor travellers. They haven't won an away Ryder Cup since 1993. And these days, home advantage is so big that seven of the last eight duals have been been won by the home team - the last four by big margins.

Beware the underdog

So, about those odds for the next Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Italy in 2003.

Backing away sides when they're favourites has been a disastrous policy down the years.

Team USA have repeatedly suffered defeat when expected by the bookies to win. The latest example of that came in Paris last time.

But Europe aren't immune from it either. They were fancied to win in 2008 after big wins in 2004 and 2006 but suffered a heavy defeat at Valhalla.

Only one favourite since 1997 has scored an away win. When the underdog has home advantage, their bite can be fierce.

New wave of youngsters ready to shine

Two years is a long time.

The European team could look very different in 2023 and Ryder Cup history shows that rookies can often thrive straight off the bat.

The 2023 Ryder Cup venue staged this year's Italian Open when victory went to Nicolai Hojgaard. Twin brother Rasmus, meanwhile, already has three European Tour wins to his name.

The two young Danes pack massive potential and Nicolai has just added another top 15 in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Those two and other young talents such as Robert MacIntyre, Sam Horsfield and Matthias Schmid could be knocking on the door when the next Ryder Cup comes around.

The return of Moliwood and other top stars

As well as the youngsters, don't rule out some of the established stars raising their games and returning to the team.

With the Ryder Cup being held in Italy, Francesco Molinari will surely be doing all he can to get back on Team Europe and reprise his 'Moliwood' double act with Tommy Fleetwood after the pair won four games out of four at Le Golf National.

Fleetwood, incidentally, finished runner-up to Nicolai Hojgaard at Marco Simeone this year so has already shown a liking for the course.

And what about Danny Willett? The 2016 Masters champion has just shown his class again by winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and has three top eight finishes in his last five starts in Italy.

Maybe Justin Rose will be back to something near his very best come 2023 after failing to make the team this time.

American complacency

When the Americans lost heavily at Le Golf National, their commitment to the cause was questioned when only one of them, Justin Thomas, bothered to play the Open de France held there earlier that summer.

The recce worked for Thomas as he finished as the tournament's top points scorer but will the Americans bother turning up to play Marco Simeone if given the chance before 2023?

Brooks Koepka and then girlfriend at the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris.
Brooks Koepka and then girlfriend at the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris.

It's a dangerous policy to think they can just ride into town and learn a course in the practice rounds. Once more, it could be their undoing.

Conclusion

With Jon Rahm spearheading the team, Europe could be a force to reckon with in 2023.

Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia celebrate a win at the 2021 Ryder Cup.
Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia celebrate a win at the 2021 Ryder Cup.

As well as the Hojgaards and the possible return of of Francesco Molinari, how about more Italian flavour being added by the presence of Guido Migliozzi?

The youngster is already a two-time winner on the European Tour and further showed his credentials with a tied fourth on his US Open debut at Torry Pines earlier this year.

Add in Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Shane LowrySergio Garcia and Matt Fitzpatrick and Team Europe are already starting to take shape.

And who's to say the Americans will all be in such good form then?

The 2021 Ryder Cup was a huge disappointment if you were a European. But after the long two-year wait, we could get another reminder in 2023 that revenge is a dish best served cold.

READ MORE: Next step for FedEx Cup hero Patrick Cantlay: a first Major title

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