All roads led to Rome for the Ryder Cup, as one of sport’s famous trophies arrived in the Italian capital today as part of The Ryder Cup Trophy Tour.
The famous figurine-topped Trophy joined 30 Italian schoolchildren on an open-top bus tour of the city’s leading landmarks today, before being welcomed by Ryder Cup legends Costantino Rocca and Sam Torrance at Marco Simone Golf Club.
And with Marco Simone hosting The Ryder Cup in 2022, Rocca – a three time winner of the Ryder Cup – said he was delighted to welcome the Trophy to Rome.
He said: “It’s fantastic to have The Ryder Cup coming to Italy in 2022 and even to see the Trophy here at Marco Simone today. As players, we fight so much to be in The Ryder Cup team and even seeing the Trophy now gives me goosebumps.
“I hope it will be a fantastic Ryder Cup in 2022 and it’s a very important moment for us. This is our best chance to promote golf in Italy for tourism and inspire a lot of Italian young people who want to start playing the game.”
Sam Torrance added: “The Ryder Cup generates more excitement than anything in golf. It really is something very special and it’s wonderful to be part of it.”
Torrance, who was part of the first European team to win The Ryder Cup in the United States, believes Europe has the right talent to once again lift the Trophy on US soil in two weeks’ time.
“I think both teams look very strong, but we’ve got the Masters champion, the Open champion, the Olympic champion and very possibly the FedEx champion with Rory [McIlroy] playing next week. The pairings look good, Darren’s wildcards were exactly what the team needed and everything is building up very nicely.”
After being delivered by Ryder Cup director Richard Hills, The Ryder Cup Trophy began a three-day tour of Italy – today visiting Rome’s leading sights including the Castel Sant’Angelo, Colosseum and Piazza Venezia.
Tomorrow, the Trophy heads to Milan – where it will visit the city’s cathedral before arriving at Milan Golf Club, the venue for this week’s Italian Open. Golf fans will have the opportunity to be photographed alongside it free of charge when it is put on public display at the tournament on Thursday.
Richard Hills, Ryder Cup director said: “It has been wonderful to bring The Ryder Cup Trophy Tour to Italy, as part of a roadshow which has now travelled over 3,000 miles and involved thousands of golf fans.
“As well as the enthusiasm for golf, we’ve also seen today how beautiful Rome is. The city will be a brilliant host for The Ryder Cup in 2022 and it is fantastic to see the excitement on the faces of the children taking part today.”