A thrilling climax to proceedings at East Lake Golf Club – with Rory McIlroy pipping Ryan Moore to the Tour championship, and Dustin Johnson to the lucrative bounty on offer to the FedEx Cup victor – has heralded the official season’s end and we are all now firmly in Ryder Cup mode.
As if you didn't already know, this week sees the commencement of proceedings at Hazeltine, Minnesota for the 41st installment of the Ryder Cup - the great 'them against us' style tournament which throws up thrills and spills like no other. Whether USA or Europe, Red or Blue, we are all in for a sporting treat as the best on both sides of 'The Pond' aim to write another chapter of golfing history.
A stellar field can be boasted by both camps and arguably – on paper at least – the Americans may just have the advantage in terms of technical ability and star names. The Europeans, on the other hand, are fielding six rookies who are playing in their first ever Ryder Cup and, while this may suggest the squad will be a bit of an unknown quantity this time around, Darren Clarke’s boys will tee it up on Friday with momentum squarely on their side. Winning the three previous editions and having the current Masters and Open champions on your side tends to help in that regard.
We at Hole19, and our wider community, will be firmly focused on the performance of our current brand ambassador, Matt Fitzpatrick. Matt is one of the rookies mentioned above and has forced his way into Darren Clarke’s team with some blistering form this golfing year.
To have achieved so much by the age of 22, and in such a short space of time as a professional, is testament to Matt’s ability and temperament. Other than his tournament wins, a seventh place finish at this year’s Masters has pointed towards real major-winning credentials and qualifying for the Ryder Cup, without the need of a wildcard pick from captain Darren Clarke, is an indication of just how consistent his play has been over these last two years.
The world has watched the rise of one of the hottest properties in the golfing game and we feel that Matt’s professional upward trend mirrors our own here at Hole19. When one of the fastest growing brands in golf meets one of the brightest talents in the global game, solely positive outcomes are possible. We have developed a great mutual respect during our work together thus far. We most certainly believe in Matt’s golfing ability and global reach and he believes in our application and the benefits of Hole19.
Our app has the ability to benefit golfers of all abilities, whether professional or amateur – scratch or complete newbie - and allows them to better understand their game and become more connected with the golfing world. This was not lost on Matt when, upon linking up with the Hole19 team, he said:
Joining the growing Hole19 community is something I’m really excited about this season! I’m very keen on simple tools to track my stats and engage with fellow golfers across the globe, and Hole19 is the perfect platform for that.
A glowing recommendation indeed.
So is our ongoing relationship likely to lead to a little bit of European bias? Possibly. That said, the camaraderie within the Blue camp is always something to behold and, for that reason, bias may not necessarily be a concern. Many golfing pundits are going Team Blue in their pre-tournament chatter – probably safer if we leave the predictions up to them.
Not since the inclusion of continental Europe in 1979, to help bolster the competitiveness of the Ryder Cup format, has there been a possible four-timer on the cards. The Blues have a real chance of achieving something special, nay historic, at this year's tournament. It may well be that we see Fitzpatrick play a pivotal role in delivering such an outcome.
Best of luck Matt. The Hole19 community is behind you.