Europe's Ryder Cup team in fullAugust 30, 2016 Golf News
Which players will be going to battle at Hazeltine?
Following Darren Clarke’s captain picks we take a look at how Team Europe will shape up at Hazeltine:
Apps: 3 P11 W5 H2 L4 Singles 1-0-2 4somes 2-1-1 4balls 2-1-1
All four 2016 Major winners will be on show and Stenson’s standing will never have been higher coming into the matches. Odd to think he wasn’t part of the Miracle at Medinah. Expect him at the top of the team sheet whenever he tees it up.
Apps: 3 P10 W4 H3 L3 Singles 2-1-0 4somes 0-2-0 4balls 2-1-2
Yet to find a partner he has truly clicked with, or his very best form for that matter, but still boasts a decent, if flattering, record. Never missed a match and will be heavily relied upon by his captain. Probably have to shepherd a rookie early doors.
Won in Dubai, won at Augusta and third at Wentworth at the end of May and, yet now, we’re all worried about his form. Had he squeezed onto the team we’d all be licking our lips at the prospect of Willett bouncing around Hazeltine.
Apps: 7 P32 W18 H5 L9 Singles 3-0-4 4somes 9-2-2 4balls 6-3-3
This might be the best form the Spaniard has come into the matches for a number of years, in 2010 he was an assistant to Monty. Last time played alongside Rory which not be a luxury that Clarke can afford. Played in the very first Junior Ryder Cup in 1995, then an exhibition match.
Not missed a cut all season and makes his debut at 32. Hits a lot of greens so the lazy conclusion is that he will feature in the foursomes. Even lazier is that he will partner Sergio Garcia, because he’s also Spanish. Third at the World Match Play this year.
Apps: 3 P14 (W9 H2 L3) Singles 2-1-0 4somes 4-1-1 4balls 2-1-2
Quickly developed into Mr Dependable and could well lead us off with the Open champion (though he may leave the gold medal at home). Only he and Rory played all five rounds in 2014 and will be relied heavily upon again. Note to Capt Love – has played at No 4 in all three singles.
Blimey, what do we know about the Bristolian in matchplay? Two differing Seve Trophy outings (4.5/5 2009, 1/5 2013) which tells us nothing. Was at the 2002 Ryder Cup at The Belfry watching his heroes Sergio and Tiger. Expect to hear a lot about his height (6”6).
Spent his EurAsia Cup in the company of Shane Lowry so that tells us nothing about his likely partner. So we are all sent scurrying to his Walker Cup record in 2011 – Jack Senior. Oh. So expect an upbeat character with soft hands. Rory?
Just turned 22, still looks 12 and some effort to make this side. Has already won a matchplay in the States when he captured the US Amateur at Brookline. Would take a big leap of faith to pair him with his fellow, er, Sheffielder. (Is that a word?)
Apps: 9 P41 (W20 H6 L15) Singles 3-0-6 4somes 9-4-4 4balls 8-3-4
There will be whispers about friends in high places but when you’ve finished second at Augusta, played in the final (and very odd) pairing at the US Open with Dustin Johnson and have contributed 23 points going back to 1997 then those people can pipe down.
Apps: 3 P10 (W4 L3 H3) Singles 2-0-1 4somes 0-2-0 4balls 2-2-1
I don’t really have a memory of the German ever playing that well (other than THAT putt) in the Ryder Cup, yet he still has a winning record. Don’t expect him to play in the foursomes. Do, maybe, expect him to shepherd a rookie in the fourballs.