European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald has said his team “have their work cut out” as they seek to wrest the trophy back from the United States.
After a record 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits in 2021, Donald has the unenviable task of trying to maintain the hosts’ 30-year unbeaten record on home soil.
On paper the Americans have the superior team, with 10 of their 12 players currently in the world’s top 20, and even though Europe have three of the top four, Donald is aware of the challenge which awaits in Italy.
“I know it’s going to be a difficult next few days, it really is. The US are very strong. We know that,” he said at a press conference at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome.
“We are coming off our worst defeat ever in a Ryder Cup. US players are strong, high up in the world rankings and they have some great partnerships and have had a lot of success.
“We have our work cut out but as captain you have to be confident. I certainly have a lot of belief in my team and you have to have belief that you’re going to get them into a place where they are going to be successful.”
When are the Ryder Cup teams announced?
Both teams have now been named.
Who is on Team Europe?
Along with his appointed vice-captains Francesco Molinari, Edoardo Molinari, José María Olazábal, Thomas Bjorn and Nicolas Colsaerts, Donald has made some big calls with his wildcards.
The spine of his team had already been locked in through automatic qualification: Rory McIlroy, John Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland, Matt Fitzpatrick and Bob MacIntyre were already confirmed for Team Europe before Monday’s announcement, where they were augmented by two Englishmen, an Irishman, an Austrian, a Swede and a Dane.
- Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland)
- Jon Rahm (Spain)
- Bob MacIntyre (Scotland)
- Viktor Hovland (Norway)
- Tyrrell Hatton (England)
- Matt Fitzpatrick (England)
- Tommy Fleetwood (England)
- Sepp Straka (Austria)
- Justin Rose (England)
- Shane Lowry (Ireland)
- Nicolai Hojgaard (Denmark)
- Ludvig Aberg (Sweden)
Who is on Team USA?
United States captain Zach Johnson has selected out-of-form Justin Thomas and LIV Golf rebel Brooks Koepka for the 44th Ryder Cup in Rome at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.
Five-time major winner Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Sam Burns and Rickie Fowler complete the US captain’s six picks to join automatic qualifiers Scottie Scheffler, Open Champion Brian Harman, US Open winner Wyndham Clark, Max Homa, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schuaffele.
Thomas failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup play-offs and admitted it had been “humiliating and embarrassing” to card a second round of 81 in the US Open in June.
The two-time major winner also carded an opening 82 in the Open at Royal Liverpool, but has still been selected by Johnson ahead of the likes of Keegan Bradley and Cameron Young.
- Scottie Scheffler
- Sam Burns
- Wyndham Clark
- Brian Harman
- Xander Schauffele
- Patrick Cantlay
- Max Homa
- Brooks Koepka
- Collin Morikawa
- Rickie Fowler
- Jordan Spieth
- Justin Thomas