Monday 15 October 2018

Europe Ryder Cup pen pics

Europe will attempt to regain the Ryder Cup when they take on the United States in Paris.Here, Press Association Sport looks at the 12 players in captain Thomas Bjorn’s team for the biennial contest at Le Golf National from September 28-30.Automatic qualifiersFrancesco Molinari (Italy)Can’t wait to get to Paris to defend the European colors. I …

Tommy Fleetwood is set for his Ryder Cup debut (Richard Sellers/PA)
Tommy Fleetwood is set for his Ryder Cup debut (Richard Sellers/PA)

By Phil Casey, Press Association Sport Golf Correspondent

Europe will attempt to regain the Ryder Cup when they take on the United States in Paris.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the 12 players in captain Thomas Bjorn’s team for the biennial contest at Le Golf National from September 28-30.

Automatic qualifiers

Francesco Molinari (Italy)

Age: 35

Caps:
2 (2010, 2012)

Record: Won 0 Lost 4 Halved 2

Majors: 1 (2018 Open)

Molinari has not been on the losing side in the Ryder Cup despite failing to win any of his six matches to date. Won half a point from two matches alongside his brother Edoardo at Celtic Manor in 2010 before losing to an inspired Tiger Woods in the singles, but famously halved the final singles against the same player in 2012 as Europe completed the ‘Miracle at Medinah’. Has taken his game to another level in 2018 with three wins in nine weeks, including becoming Italy’s first major champion with victory in the Open at Carnoustie.

Justin Rose (England)

Age: 38

Caps: 4 (2008, 2012, 2014, 2016)

Record: Won 11 Lost 6 Halved 2

Majors: 1 (2013 US Open)

Played all five matches in each of the last three contests and was unbeaten at Gleneagles in 2014 with three wins and two halved matches, but could only claim two points in the 2016 defeat at Hazeltine. Has become one of the most consistent players in the world and back-to-back runners-up finishes in the FedEx Cup play-offs took him top of the world rankings for the first time.

Tyrrell Hatton (England)

Age: 26

Caps: 0

Majors: 0

Won his first European Tour title in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2016 and made a successful title defence the following year. Then won the Italian Open seven days later and two top-three finishes in early 2018 effectively sealed his place.  Finished sixth in the US Open and 10th in the US PGA before making headlines for carding a final round of 64 in the first FedEx Cup play-off event with a putter he bought from a local store the night before.

Tommy Fleetwood (England)

Age: 27

Caps: 0

Majors: 0

Won twice in 2017 – including the French Open at the Ryder Cup venue – on his way to becoming European number one and started this season by defending his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship title. Carded a record-equalling final round of 63 in the US Open at Shinnecock Hills to finish just a shot behind Brooks Koepka and has missed just two halfway cuts in 2018.

Jon Rahm (Spain)

Age: 23

Caps: 0

Majors: 0

A former world number one in the amateur ranks who has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the professional game, Rahm ended 2017 by finishing in the top seven of all four FedEx Cup play-off events and then winning the season-ending event on the European Tour in Dubai. Also claimed two victories in 2018 and top-four finishes in the Masters and US PGA and was fifth in the French Open.

Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland)

Age: 29

Caps: 4 (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016)

Record: Won 9 Lost 6 Halved 4

Majors: 4 (2011 US Open, 2012 US PGA, 2014 Open, 2014 US PGA)

Famously described the Ryder Cup as ”an exhibition” the year before making his debut in 2010, but changed his opinion following the narrow victories at Celtic Manor and Medinah, where he beat Keegan Bradley in the singles despite only arriving at the course with minutes to spare. Won three matches in tandem with Thomas Pieters at Hazeltine but understandably ran out of steam in a thrilling opening singles contest with Patrick Reed.

Alex Noren (Sweden)

Age: 36

Caps: 0

Majors: 0

Found top form too late to make the team in 2016, winning once in the qualifying period but then three more times in the space of seven events at the end of the season. Lost a play-off to Jason Day in the Farmers Insurance Open early in 2018 and also reached the semi-finals of the WGC-Dell Match Play before sealing his place on the team in ideal fashion by overturning a seven-shot deficit to win the French Open.

Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark)


Age:
28

Caps: 0

Majors: 0

A close friend of Bjorn and was warned he had to qualify automatically to avoid any accusations of favouritism if given a wild card. Surged into contention with victory in the Italian Open and followed that up with four top-six finishes during the summer to move into the final qualifying place. Held on to it when Matt Fitzpatrick was unable to win the last event in Olesen’s native Denmark.

Wild cards

Ian Poulter (England)


Age:
42

Caps: 5 (2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014)

Record: Won 12 Lost 4 Halved 2

Majors: 0

Nicknamed ‘The Postman’ because he always delivers a point, Poulter was forced to settle for a vice-captaincy role in 2016 due to injury and looked to have lost his PGA Tour card in 2017 before a mistake in the way his points had been calculated was spotted by a fellow player. Finished second in the Players Championship in his next event and won the Houston Open in 2018, his first victory since 2012, to get into the Masters.

Paul Casey (England)

Age: 41

Caps: 3 (2004, 2006, 2008)

Record: Won 3 Lost 2 Halved 4

Majors: 0

Famously overlooked for a wild card by Colin Montgomerie in 2010 despite being ranked seventh in the world at the time, Casey later gave up his European Tour membership and only rejoined at the end of 2017 with the Ryder Cup in mind. Won his first PGA Tour title since 2009 in the Valspar Championship in March, finishing a shot ahead of a rejuvenated Tiger Woods. Strong match play record includes victory in the HSBC World Match Play at Wentworth in 2006 and twice being runner-up in the WGC Match Play.

Henrik Stenson (Sweden)

Age: 42

Caps: 4 (2006, 2008, 2014, 2016)

Record: Won 7 Lost 7 Halved 2

Majors: 1 (2016 Open)

Played a vital part in the victory at Gleneagles in 2014, combining with Justin Rose to win all three of their matches together, although the same pair could only win one of their three contests at Hazeltine. Claimed his first major title with a record-breaking performance in the Open at Royal Troon in 2016 and claimed silver behind Rose in golf’s return to the Olympics in Rio. Ongoing elbow injury could be a concern.

Sergio Garcia (Spain)

Age: 38

Caps: 8 (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016)

Record:
Won 19 Lost 11 Halved 7

Majors: 1 (2017 Masters)

A talismanic figure for Europe, so much so that he was brought in as a vice-captain by Montgomerie in 2010 despite becoming disenchanted with golf and taking a two-month break from playing. However, after averaging 3.75 points in his first four Ryder Cup appearances, the Spaniard has averaged just 1.88 in his last four and has missed the cut in his last five major starts. His sole top 10 since March did at least come on the Ryder Cup course.

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport