RYDER CUP: Meet the European team

News & Tour

The 12 men heading to Medinah to defend the Ryder Cup...

Luke Donald

Middle name: Campbell
Age: 34
Appearances: 3 (2004, 06 & 10)
Overall: P11 W8 H1 L2
Singles: W2 H0 L1
Fourball: W1 H1 L1
Foursomes: W6 H0 L0
Highlight of 2012: Won the BMW PGA Championship
Fourballs or foursomes? Foursomes
WE LIKE
Brilliant overall record and will be playing in his adopted home state where he went to college and now lives. Hard to beat in matchplay as he rarely gives holes away and his short game is so sharp. Arguably Europe’s best putter
WE DON’T
Not been in great form in recent months – witness his parting of the ways with the previously feted former rugby coach Dave Alred. If he drives poorly will struggle at Medinah, which is a long course with minimal run

Sergio Garcia

Age: 32
Appearances: 5 (1999, 2002, 04, 06, 08)
Overall: P24 W14 H4 L6
Singles: W1 H0 L4
Fourball: W5 H3 L2
Foursomes: W8 H1 L0
Highlight of 2012: Won the Wyndham Championship when under extreme pressure to secure his place on the team
Fourballs or foursomes? Foursomes. And fourballs
WE LIKE
Loves the Ryder Cup in particular and team competition generally. Amazing record in the pairs. Playing his best golf for a couple of years. A natural leader in this event, on and off the course. Vastly experienced
WE DON’T
You still worry about his putting. Strangely poor singles record which one has to suspect is down to being low on energy come Sunday having put so much into the first two days

Lee Westwood

Middle name: John
Age: 39
Appearances: 7 (1997, 99, 2002, 04, 06, 08, 10)
Overall: P33 W16 H6 L11
Singles: W2 H0 L5
Fourball: W7 H2 L4
Foursomes: W7 H4 L2
Highlight of 2012: Won the Nordea Masters
Fourballs or foursomes? It’s a cop-out but both
WE LIKE
Unofficial captain. Playing in his eighth successive match so he’s seen it all before. Seems to be recovering from his mid-season crisis (see below). Very strong record in both foursomes and fourballs and a dream for a captain as he gives you so many options
WE DON’T
Had a wobble in the late summer when he missed a couple of cuts, changed his long-term coach and complained that he had lost his direction. Surprisingly poor singles record – see Sergio’s profile for a possible reason why that’s the case…

Rory McIlroy

Age: 23
Appearances: 1 (2010)
Overall: P4 W1 H2 L1
Singles: W0 H1 L0
Fourball: W0 H1 L0
Foursomes: W1 H0 L1
Highlight of 2012: Won the PGA
Fourballs or foursomes? Fourballs
WE LIKE
A birdie machine – makes more than anyone on either side. At the top of his form. Now undisputed World No 1 so is full of swagger. Best driver of the ball on either side. Knows what to expect following Celtic Manor. Partner is also close friend
WE DON’T
Didn’t actually play very well at Celtic Manor, when McDowell was the stronger half of the partnership. Needs to show he ‘gets’ the Ryder Cup. After a stellar second half to 2012, might this be a week too much, a la Harrington in 2008?

Peter Hanson

Age: 34
Appearances: 1 (2010)
Overall: P3 W1 H0 L2
Singles: W0 H0 L1
Fourballs: W1 H0 L0
Foursomes: W0 H0 L1
Highlight of 2012: Tied third at Masters
Fourballs or foursomes? Foursomes
WE LIKE
Rarely plays badly and top 10s at both the Masters (T3) and PGA (T7) show he has become a top-class player. Game is very solid even though few would have chalked him down for a second successive appearance in European colours
WE DON’T
Not a name to strike fear into American hearts

Nicolas Colsaerts

Age: 29
Appearances: 0
Highlight of 2012: Won World Match Play Fourballs or foursomes? Fourballs
WE LIKE
Powerful, in-form and confident. A winner in matchplay this year against a quality field. Was bullish about his chances of a wild card and played well in the final event to give captain Olazabal a further nudge
WE DON’T
Limited experience in big events and in America generally. Europe’s only rookie, which means he is an unknown quantity. Not clear who he’ll play with
Ian Poulter, also known as the postman (nicknamed after his “I will deliver a point” proclamation two years ago), lives for the Ryder Cup.

Graeme McDowell

Age: 33
Appearances: 2 (2008 & 10)
Overall: P8 W4 H2 L2
Singles: W2 H0 L0
Fourball: W1 H1 L1
Foursomes: W1 H1 L1
Highlight of 2012: T2 at US Open
Fourballs or foursomes? Foursomes. And singles
WE LIKE
Is very streaky and can make birdies for fun when in the mood. Obvious partner, McIlroy, is also a close friend
WE DON’T
Not the longest. Game can vary from week to week

Francesco Molinari

Age: 29
Appearances: 1 (2010)
Overall: P3 W0 H1 L2
Singles: W0 H0 L1
Fourball: W0 H1 L0
Foursomes: W0 L1 H0
Highlight of 2012: Won the Spanish Open
Fourballs or foursomes? Foursomes, logic would dictate
WE LIKE
Consistent long game. Hits fairways and knocks it close as often as anyone on either team. Not hard to find a partner for
WE DON’T
Not a good putter – bit like watching Sergio

Martin Kaymer

Age: 27
Appearances: 1 (2010)
Overall: P4 W2 H1 L1
Singles: W0 H0 L1
Fourball: W2 H0 L0
Foursomes: W0 H1 L0
Highlight of 2012: Tied 15th at the US Open
Fourballs or foursomes? Fourballs
WE LIKE
At his best, Kaymer is one of the best players in the world: his fade is reliable, he holes out faultlessly and is calm
WE DON’T
Very poor season and not even he seems to know why

Paul Lawrie

Middle name: Stewart
Age: 43
Appearances: 1 (1999)
Overall: P5 W3 H1 L1
Singles: W1 H0 L0
Fourball: W1 H1 L0
Foursomes: W1 H0 L1
Highlight of 2012: Won the Johnnie Walker Championship
Fourballs or foursomes? Foursomes
WE LIKE
Will be calm and reliable. Putts and chips beautifully
WE DON’T
Can struggle with the driver and his low ball flight not ideally suited to long, inland American courses

Ian Poulter

Middle name: James
Age: 36
Appearances: 3 (2004, 08 & 10)
Overall: P11 W8 H0 L3
Singles: W3 H0 L0
Fourball: W3 H0 L2
Foursomes: W2 H0 L1
Highlight of 2010: Top 10s in Masters, Open and PGA
Fourballs or foursomes? Try singles
WE LIKE
The postman (nicknamed after his “I will deliver a point” proclamation two years ago) lives for the Ryder Cup
WE DON’T
Medinah will not necessarily play to his strengths

Justin Rose

Middle name: Peter
Age: 32
Appearances: 1 (2008)
Overall: P4 W3 H0 L1
Singles: W1 H0 L0
Fourball: W1 H0 L0
Foursomes: W1 H0 L1
Highlight of 2012: Won the WGC-Cadillac Championship
Fourballs or foursomes? Not sure yet
WE LIKE
Played well in his only previous appearance, at Valhalla four years ago. Has a natural partner in Poulter
WE DON’T
Recent form ordinary. Modest record in Majors

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