Europe finalizes Ryder Cup picks, teams set for showdown in Rome

Team Europe captain Luke Donald has announced his Ryder Cup picks, finalizing an already-formidable squad as Europe prepares to retake the trophy from the United States.

Donald’s team already included automatic qualifiers Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton and Robert McIntyre. The European captain’s picks, announced Monday, include:

Ludvig Aberg: An impressive and unconventional selection, given that he just turned pro in June and has not played in a single major yet. (That would be June of this year.) But he’s already won the European Masters, and that gave Donald enough comfort that the 23-year-old Aberg can handle the otherworldly pressure of the Ryder Cup.

Tommy Fleetwood: His dominant Ryder Cup record — particularly his 4-1-0 debut in 2018 — outweighs his tendency to fall short in major tournaments. He’s this generation’s Ian Poulter, minus the wild pants and in-your-face attitude.

Nicolai Hojgaard: Perhaps his key stat is that he already has a win and a T5 at Marco Simone, the golf course where this year’s Ryder Cup will be played. Beyond that, he has seven top-10s this year on the DP World Tour. The fact that both he and Aberg made the team is a mild surprise, but they’ll bring youth to the table for a European team that, until now, was looking very old indeed.

Shane Lowry: The equivalent of the United States’ Justin Thomas pick, Lowry is a controversial selection given that Adrian Meronk, who won at Marco Simone earlier this year and currently stands at third on the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai rankings, was not selected. While Lowry isn’t anywhere near contending form right now, Donald has praised his locker-room contributions and motivational strength.

Luke Donald, Captain of Team Europe, announced his picks for the team’s final six spots for the Ryder Cup later this month. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Justin Rose: The former U.S. Open champion has found his form again, winning the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and placing well in other significant tournaments this year. This will mark his sixth Ryder Cup, which makes him a steadying presence on a team that will feature four rookies.

Sepp Straka: One win on the PGA Tour, a second-place finish at the Open Championship … Straka was never not going to make this year’s Ryder Cup team, and he’ll be a reliable weapon throughout the weekend for Donald.

The United States team features qualifiers Scottie Scheffler, Max Homa, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, Wyndham Clark and Brian Harman, as well as captain’s picks Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Sam Burns, Collin Morikawa and Rickie Fowler. The Ryder Cup tees off later this month at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *