US fans flock to Rome in hope of elusive victory

Ryder Cup 2023: US fans flock to Rome in hope of elusive victory with heavy support expected for the defending champions

  • The Ryder Cup will take place this weekend in Rome in a heavily-anticipated tie
  • 25p per cent of tickets were on offer but more have been picked up on viagogo
  • Mail Sport’s new WhatsApp Channel: Get the breaking news and exclusives here

HUGE numbers of American supporters are expected to descend on Rome in the hope of a first victory on European soil in 30 years.

Mail Sport understands that Zach Johnson’s men will enjoy a heavier level of backing at Marco Simone than they received in Paris four years ago, with as many as 15,000 expected at the course each day in a 50,000 overall attendance.

Around 25 per cent of tickets were allocated to those cheering on the United States, which is a common occurrence.

However, on leading market reseller viagogo US buyers have snapped up a staggering 64 per cent of tickets on offer, which is up 39 per cent on the figure from their last visit to Europe in 2018. It means that while Europe will again receive raucous, noisy support, the Americans will have a large following of their own.

The strong dollar is thought to have had an impact, along with the fact that the Americans are slight favourites to end their drought away from the US.. 

Zach Johnson’s USA side are expected to receive heavy backing during the Ryder Cup

More USA fans are expected to travel to Rome for the competition than did to Paris four years ago

Team USA players walked down the Spanish steps for photos with their partners on Thursday

Meanwhile, stewards are on alert to deal with unruly behaviour from fans of both sides, while medical staff will be stationed around what is a notoriously hilly course. Searing temperatures of close to 30 Celsius may well cause issues at a venue that offers very little shade.

US officials were overheard warning security staff to be on alert for drunken fans attempting to jump on the back of carts carrying coaches as they follow their groups around the course.

Water refill stations have been installed on nine of the 18 holes in an attempt to reduce instances of dehydration.

Ticket reseller viagogo say buyers from 46 different countries have snapped up tickets. And, perhaps hinting at a lower level of interest in Italy, 18 per cent of those sold went for less than face value.

Supporters have already been flocking into the city with the hope of watching their side retain the Ryder Cup

Cris Miller, managing director of viagogo, said: ‘The Ryder Cup continues to grow in popularity, as fans from more countries than ever before have secured tickets to Rome.

‘With the majority of tickets purchased in America, the US team is assured to have strong travelling support as they seek to retain the trophy.

‘The substantial increase in US-based purchases on our platform, compared to 2018, suggests a confidence among American golf fans and speaks to the growing trend of sports fans willing to travel internationally to support their teams.’

Wednesday night final preparations were being stepped up in preparation for tomorrow morning’s start. It is understood that a vast crew of workers from across the planet landed last Friday, upping staffing numbers from 30 to 140. Bunkers, as well as fairways, were being watered upon the instruction of Europe captain Luke Donald.

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