Ryder Cup stars and their guests enjoyed a gourmet four-course meal as they celebrated with a gala dinner on the eve of the legendary tournament.
In keeping with the tournament’s venue – the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome – those hosting the exclusive evening were able to feast on Italian cuisine just days before Teams USA and Europe kicked off the biennial competition.
The long-held tradition is a black tie event, and dressed in their finery, both teams paused competitive hostilities to enjoy the sumptuous meal.
Jena Sims, married to Team USA star and LIV rebel Brooks Kopeka, gave her social media followers sneaky insight into the festivities, including a snapshot of the event’s menu.
Attendees started their evening with a ‘mock tomato’ made from smoked pappa al pomodoro – an Italian bread soup – served with buffalo stacciatella, crushed black olives and charcoal, before tucking into a traditional pasta dish, or primi piatti of risotto with lemon, razor clams , asparagus and buffalo milk yoghurt.
Attendees of the traditional Ryder Cup 2023 gala dinner were treated to a four-course feast
The menu included an antipasti of ‘mock tomato’ and a pasta dish of mussel and lemon risotto
Jena Sims, married to Team USA’s Brooks Kopeka (left), documented the evening
Guests then enjoyed soy-marinated tender beef with a traditional pizzaiola sauce made from tomato, olive oil, garlic and oregano and puree of oregano and parsley root.
As we left the cavernous glass-roofed dining room for dessert, the meal ended with a Neapolitan baba al rhum, gelato, cannoli and arragostine pastry, served on the terrace.
Tournament stars like Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Colin Morikawa may have washed down the meal with wines including £54 a bottle of Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2018 red, a glass of Conte della Vipera 2022 white wine which retails for £26 a bottle, or an ‘A’ Rosato 2022.
Diane Donald, whose husband Luke Donald is Team Europe captain, shared photos as she mingled with fellow partners including Matt Fitzpatrick’s girlfriend Katherine Gaal, Keeley Rahm, Team USA captain Zach Johnson’s wife Kim Barclay.
The event took place on a rooftop in the Italian capital, with dessert served on the terrace
Diane Donald, wife of Team Europe captain Luke, enjoyed the Ryder Cup brand gelato
Luke and Diane Donald led members of Team Europe across Rome’s iconic Spanish Steps
The Roman monument would be closed on Wednesday evening for the event
Golfers, including Rory McIlroy (centre), were met by fans queuing for the gala dinner
Earlier in the day, Team USA WAGs enjoyed a day out in the Italian capital, with Sims leading the way as she shared photos via Instagram.
The first photo in the post shared by Sims showed the 34-year-old, who married Koepka last year, soaking up the sun in an orange floral dress.
She posted photos of various buildings in the city, as well as videos of her friends and fellow WAGs enjoying the streets of Rome.
Another photo showed some women wearing helmets in the back of a carriage as they were driven through the towns.
Thursday’s tournament opening ceremony at 3pm will kick off the weekend’s competition, with captains Donald and Johnson set to announce their duos later in the afternoon.
The 34-year-old Sims posed in the Roman sun on Tuesday prior to the tournament weekend
Some women were driven through the cities in the back of a carriage that day
The focus now shifts to Thursday’s practice session and the opening ceremony of the tournament
Viktor Hovland (centre) had a session to remember after landing an excellent hole-in-one
Team Europe will look to win on home soil but face a significant threat from the defending American champions
In the final practice of the day, Team Europe’s Vikto Hovland stunned fans by landing a stunning hole-in-one on a 376-metre par four.
The Norwegian was upbeat for the competition and delighted with the achievement, but joked that he achieved the feat on the ‘wrong day’.
Despite playing on the European field, Team USA is the slight favorite to retain the title and sweep away home soil for the first time since 1993.
Mail Sport reported on Wednesday that American fans would descend on the Eternal City in their legions to roar at their sides in an attempt to drown out the raucous European support.