Ryder Cup: Player-by-player guide to Team Europe

The usually-biennial competition was delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic but has finally arrived, with captain Padraig Harrington having completed his 12-man squad with three wildcard picks following the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth earlier this month.

As is often the case, the US would appear to have the upper hand when it comes to world rankings and major wins, but so often in the past European teams have defied the formbook and risen to the occasions.

Here are the men charged with retaining the trophy…

  • World ranking: 1
  • Ryder Cup record: 1-2-0 (Won-lost-halved)

The World no1 has enjoyed a terrific season, finishing in the top-ten at all four majors and claiming his first major triumph at the US Open. This will be the Spaniard’s second Ryder Cup appearance following on from his debut at Le Golf National three years ago, where he lost his opening two matches before beating Tiger Woods in Sunday’s singles.

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  • World ranking: 36
  • Ryder Cup record: 4-1-0

The Englishman was one of Europe’s heroes three years ago, forming a formidable partnership with Francesco Molinari – who has not qualified this time – as the duo became the first European pair to win all four of their matches in one edition of the tournament. Has struggled for form, without a win since November 2019, but finished second at Italian Open earlier this month.

  • World ranking: 19
  • Ryder Cup record: 1-2-0

The Englishman is another who made his debut in France and could resume his partnership with countryman Phil Casey at Whistling Straits. Enjoyed a stellar 2020 with maiden PGA Tour win and BMW PGA Championship success but not hit same heights in 2021 and continues to underperform at majors.

  • World ranking: 61
  • Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0

One of three rookies in Padraig Harrington’s team, the Austrian sealed an automatic place at the final qualifying event at Wentworth and will become the first man from his country to feature in the Ryder Cup. Last Tour win came in May but might have won European Masters last month had it not been for a double-bogey on the final hole.

  • World ranking: 15
  • Ryder Cup record: 11-9-4

The Northern Irishman is now one of Europe’s most experienced men, about to make his sixth Ryder Cup appearance having featured in every team since his debut 11 years ago. Claimed his first victory since 2019 at the Wells Fargo Championship in May and was in contention at the business end of both the US Open and Tokyo Olympics. Ryder Cups tends to bring out another side of him.

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  • World ranking: 13
  • Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0

Another rookie and another player who will become the first golfer from his nation to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup. The Norwegian is considered one of the sport’s brightest young talents and seems likely to become a staple of the European side for years to come. At 23, already has two PGA Tour wins to his name and claimed his first European Tour title at the BMW International this summer.

  • World ranking: 23
  • Ryder Cup record: 4-3-5

The Englishman returned from a decade-long Ryder Cup exodus to help Europe to victory in 2018 and has been playing some of the best golf of his long career in recent years. A first major remains elusive, but the 44-year-old has three top-ten finishes in the last two years, including at this season’s PGA Championship and US Opn.

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