PROFILES: The European Ryder Cup Team

We look at all 12 Ryder Cup players competing this week

Europe Ryder Cup

Image: David Davies / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Rory McIlroy

Form

Comes into the Ryder Cup in the best possible form; victory at the Tour Championship which included a stunning final round saw him win a play-off and clinch the FedEx Cup.

Ryder Cup Record

Has featured in three Ryder Cups for 2010, 2012 and 2014. Has a record of 6-4-4 but has been on the winning side each of the three years he has been involved.

What media are saying

Many rest their hopes on Rory’s experienced shoulders, as he hits form he may the one inspires his teammates. Consensus is that he can bring the X factor to this year’s team which is dominated by rookies.

Danny Willett

Form

The 2016 Masters Champion showed spectacular resolve to reel in Jordan Spieth at Augusta earlier this year. Performances less inspiring at the remaining majors, but a consistent year saw him finish third in the world points list and secure an automatic spot.

Ryder Cup Record

Ryder Cup Rookie

What media are saying

Brushing off the unwanted attention from his brother’s ill-thought out insults of American fans ahead of the tournament, Willett is seen as one of the team’s most consistent performers and proved he could keep his nerve under tremendous pressure while winning his maiden major.

Henrik Stenson

Form

The Champion golfer of the year, 'The Iceman' produced a record breaking performance to see off the challenge of Phil Mickelson in the final round of the Open at Royal Troon. Finished second to Justin Rose in the Olympics to claim silver in what’s been a superb year for the Swede.

Ryder Cup Record

Part of the 2006, 2008 and 2014 Ryder Cup, record of 5-4-2. Was a vital member of the winning team two years ago at Gleneagles. He actually played alongside Rose, who he couldn’t surpass in Rio.

What media are saying

His performance in the Open, coupled with top ten finishes at the Arnold Palmer invitational, Houston Open and the PGA Championship sees him come into it off his best ever season. The only concern may be an ongoing knee injury. 

Chris Wood

Form

An impressive win at the BMW PGA Championship in May, but has only managed two other top 10 finishes at the Lyoness Open and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Struggled with a neck injury and pulled out of the Open to ensure he would be fit for the event.

Ryder Cup Record

Ryder Cup Rookie

What media are saying

Credit where credit is due, no majors to his name (the closest he came was T3 back in 2009) and only three wins on the European Tour since turning pro in 2008. Sacrificed the Open to ensure he would be here and looking to be one of the standout rookies of the competition.

Sergio Garcia

Form

Finished top of the pile at the Byron Nelson this year in May, as well as a runners-up spot in the Honda Classic. Finished T5 in both the US Open and the Open Championship this year, but it still hangs over him that  he has never won a major. Has the experience in this competition, however.

Ryder Cup Record

Has featured at an incredible seven Ryder Cups (1999, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2014) with a record of 18-9-5. Has finished on the losing side only twice (‘99 and ‘08).

What media are saying

His experience cannot be discounted in this competition. He’s been around the block and won two and a half points from four in Gleneagles. Seems revved up for this one as well, only on Wednesday telling off US Captain Davis Love III: "But we know what we have and that’s the most important thing for us. At the end of the day, you don’t win Ryder Cups with your mouth. You win it out there on the golf course. That’s when we’ll see which team is the best."

Rafa Cabrera-Bello

Form

Finished 5th in Rio and beat Rory McIlroy to finish third in the WGC Dell Match Play, but no wins on the European Tour heading into the competition. Finished T2 Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the Commercial Bank Qatar Master. Five top ten finishes on the European Tour sees him as another consistent performer.

Ryder Cup Record

Ryder Cup Rookie

What media are saying

Consistency will be key and he’s shown that he’s more than adept in stroke and match-play which will work in his favor this week. Hasn't raised expectations too high with his season, so comes in with no additional pressure, unlike some of his teammates.

Justin Rose

Form

The Olympic gold medallist, top ten finish in the Masters in April and a third placed finish in the Wells Fargo sees him come into this with relatively good form. Rose is still yet to be beaten in singles play.

Ryder Cup Record

Featured in three Ryder Cups (2008, 2012 and 2014), winning all but '08. Record of 9-3-2. Played a pivotal role in defending the cup two years ago, finishing unbeaten on Paul McGinley’s team.

What media are saying 

Having played all five matches in 2014, Rose is seen as one who rises to occasions like these, reliable and can keep his head under pressure and his stunning singles victory over Phil Mickelson helped inspire the Miracle in Medinah.

Andy Sullivan

Form

Made hay while the sun shined and secured six consecutive top 25 finishes this season. This included a top 10 finish at the French Open, Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and earlier in the season tied second in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Petered off toward the end of the season.

Ryder Cup Record

Ryder Cup Rookie

What media are saying

The Englishman struggled for form toward the end of the season, but earned automatic selection for Clarke's side on the back of three victories last year at the South African Open, Joburg Open and Portugal Masters. Is the lowest ranked player in this week's Ryder Cup.

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Form

Youngest man on the team, Fitzpatrick began his professional career in 2014, mid-summer at the Irish Open. Victory in the Nordea Masters was his only success in 2016.

Ryder Cup Record

Ryder Cup Rookie

What media are saying

Viewed as one of the stars of the next generation. U.S. Amateur champion in 2013, will rely mainly on his technique to get him by. An unknown quantity in situations like these but has shown glimmers of really impressive form which may indicate he’ll take to the course like a duck to water.

Lee Westwood

Form

Always seemed likely to get the wild card call-up considering his friendship with Darren Clarke and number of competitions he has been involved in. Finished second in the Masters in April and 4th in the Omega European Masters.

Ryder Cup Record

The most seasoned campaigner on the team with nine consecutive Ryder Cups; 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014. Record of 20-15-6.

 

What media are saying

Here as one of the wiser heads and Clarke’s most trusted on-field lieutenant. Has been referred to as Europe’s "Mr. Ryder Cup" but with such a strong US, it’s difficult to see how he can affect much change with such little form.

Martin Kaymer

Form

Two time major winner Kaymer probably gets in on the good graces of his performances over the past two Ryder Cups and is handed a wildcard selection.

Ryder Cup Record

Featured in consecutive Ryder Cups in 2010, 2012 and 2014, being on the winning side all three times. Record of 4-3-3.

What media are saying

Will always be remembered for sinking the six-foot putt to win the Ryder Cup and complete the Miracle in Medinah four years ago. No massive results this season, but another reliable experienced head at this level and has some chemistry with those who have featured in recent Ryder Cups like McIlroy, Stenson and Rose.

Thomas Pieters

Form

A good season, all things considered, kicked into gear toward the tail end of the summer. T30 at the Open and 4th place finish at the Olympics, he went on an incredible run finishing 2nd in his defence of the Czech Masters, before winning a week later in Denmark - all but securing his spot.

Ryder Cup Record

Ryder Cup Rookie

What media are saying

Comes into the tournament as one of the team’s big hitters, up alongside Rory McIlroy. Edged Russell Knox for selection, shot a 62 and 71 while playing alongside captain Darren Clarke at the Made in Denmark event to impress and all but ensure he'd be on the team. Hit form at exactly the right time to help push him into the team.

To read the US Ryder Cup team preview, click here.