This week, golf is everywhere. The PGA Tour is back in Napa, the LPGA Tour is north of that in Portland, LIV Golf is discontinued just outside of Chicago, and the DP World Tour is nine time zones away, near Rome. Only one of these events will be happy for you for free, and it happens to be the event with Rory McIlroy, Victor Hovland, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and Terrell Hutton.
The Italian Open kicks off Thursday just outside of Rome, and general admission costs precisely zero euros. Ninety-nine free, as the kids like to say. Zero dollars, if you are struggling with the exchange rate. Even better, the tournament hosting the event is the same track you’ll surely see these four players compete 12 months from now in the 2023 Ryder Cup.
Marco Simone Golf & Country Club is the host site, one that McIlroy and many other pros haven’t played yet. A year from now we’ll all want to know what to expect from that track, so how McIlroy and his future Ryder Cup teammates play seems pretty important. It is almost as affordable as it would cost you to do it.
You can count on the one hand how many events you can watch McIlroy for free, and you may be able to do it with one finger. It’s very rare that sorting access is granted for nothing. Italy may not be a country full of golf fans, but those who are be You will get the full treatment this week. All they have to do is register online at this site.
The Ryder Cup sentiment is sure to kick in all the way. McIlroy doesn’t play much action in Europe these days, but he needs to meet the minimum to retain his membership. This is one of those weeks where he plays his part in elevating the DP World Tour and making sure he joins the team in 2023. Does it make sense for him to play alongside Fitz, Hatton or Hovland? We’ll go further to say it’s somewhat likely. Team Europe started picking up qualifying points last week at Wentworth, and who just happened to be on the field this week? Thomas Bjorn, Edoardo Molinari, Luke Donald – the current group of European captains tasked with figuring out who to pair with whom, makes sense in fours versus fours, etc.
The Ryder Cup ticket lottery has also opened for next year, and tickets for it are never cheap. But for exactly zero dollars, you can go analyze the important loopholes of Marco Simon. You can go watch McIlroy try to beat a short par-4. You may see Nicolai Højgaard’s defense in test for a spot on the team next fall. The same goes for Spaniard Adri Arnos, who has been bombarded for a long time. And for Scotland, Bob McIntyre. For Italian fans, Francesco Molinari will come in handy, as will rising star Guido Migliosi.
Does he read this as an advertisement for the Italian Open? Good! ought to. Any company that offers lessons on Rory McIlroy for free should be commended. Take them on it. And if these notable names don’t quite do it for you, may I suggest Eddie Pepperell, who would love to see you there to support you.