Both Luke Donald and Zach Johnson have chosen five men to stand alongside them as vice captains at the Ryder Cup, but who are they?
It is not just the captain that helps lead a team at the Ryder Cup. The role of the vice captains is also very important.
Both captains, Luke Donald and Zach Johnson, have held the role of vice captain in the past.
They were on opposing sides at both Le Golf National and Whistling Straits before taking over the reigns as captain for the 2023 edition of the Ryder Cup.
Who are Team Europe’s vice captains for the Ryder Cup?
Team Europe captain Luke Donald has named five vice captains to assist him, as the Europeans aim to regain the cup after their record defeat two years previous.
Victorious 2018 captain Thomas Bjorn was actually announced as a vice captain by Henrik Stenson, prior to the Swede’s removal from the role.
The Dane played in three Ryder Cups, and was successful with Team Europe at each one. He made his debut in 1997, before playing in the competition again in both 2002 and 2014. This will be the fourth time that Bjorn has reprised the role of vice captain.
Nicolas Colsaerts made his sole appearance at the Ryder Cup in 2012, and was part of the ‘Miracle at Medinah’. Eight birdies and an eagle helped he and Lee Westwood to victory over Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker in the Friday fourballs. This will be his first time as a vice captain for Team Europe.
Vice captaincy will also be a first for Edoardo Molinari in Rome this year. ‘Dodo’ played in the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, featuring alongside younger brother Francesco in two sessions.
Francesco Molinari will join Edoardo as part of Luke Donald’s vice captaincy team. This will also be his first stint as a VC, having played in three previous editions. He made his debut in 2010 alongside his brother, and in Paris in 2018, he became first European to go a perfect 5-0-0 in the competition’s current format.
Jose Maria Olazabal will return as a vice captain for the fourth time, but he will be in the role for the first time in nine years. Back in 2012, an emotional Olazabal led Team Europe to their greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history, as they fought from 10-4 down on Saturday evening to a victory, now known as the ‘Miracle at Medinah’.
In his playing days, Olazabal was part of the best Ryder Cup pairing of all-time. Alongside compatriot Seve Ballesteros, the pair took 12 points from 15 matches. He played for Team Europe on seven occasions, ranging from 1987 to 2006.
Who’s in the backroom staff for Team USA?
Like Donald, Zach Johnson has also named five vice captains to help his American side try and win the Ryder Cup on European soil for the first time in three decades.
2009 Open Champion Stewart Cink will be a vice captain for the first time in his career. He played in five consecutive Ryder Cups from 2002 to 2010, helping Team USA to victory in 2008 at Valhalla.
Returning for a third stint as vice captain is Fred Couples. He has been on both winning and losing American sides as a VC in the past. Couples worked alongside Davis Love III at Medinah in 2012, before helping Steve Stricker lead Team USA to their biggest ever victory at Whistling Straits last time out.
Jim Furyk will be part of a Ryder Cup for the 12th time in his illustrious career. The 2003 US Open winner played in nine editions of the competition, with his debut coming back in 1997. He was then vice captain in 2016, before being captain in Paris two years later. This will be his second Ryder Cup as a vice captain.
Two-time captain Davis Love III will reprise his role as a vice captain for the third time, having been in the role in both 2010 and last time out in Whistling Straits. Love III is the only American to have captained Team USA twice in the 21st Century, leading the team to victory at Hazeltine in 2016.
Having been captain last time out, Steve Stricker will be a part of Zach Johnson’s backroom staff in Rome. Stricker led Team USA to a historic 19-9 win two years ago, and this will be his third Ryder Cup as a vice captain. Stricker played in three Ryder Cups from 2008 to 2012.
Can Team Europe fight back after their 2021 drubbing? Will Team USA win on European soil for the first time since 1993? Let us know your thoughts on X, formerly Twitter!