Ryder Cup 2021: Who will be part of Padraig Harrington’s Team Europe at Whistling Straits? | Golf News

Ian Poulter celebrates during the 2018 Ryder Cup

Team Europe captain Padraig Harrington has confirmed his 12-man line-up for the Ryder Cup after some late drama at the BMW PGA Championship.

The 43rd edition of the event will take place at Whistling Straits from September 24-26, live on Sky Sports, as Europe look to retain the trophy they won against the United States at Le Golf National in 2018.

The European team contains nine automatic qualifiers and three captain’s picks which were announced by Harrington following the BMW PGA Championship. There is plenty of experience in the team to face a youthful American line-up which contains six rookies, with Team Europe largely consisting of the ‘old guard’ although there are three newcomers.

European Ryder Cup team

European Points List: Jon Rahm Tommy Fleetwood
Tyrrell Hatton Bernd Wiesberger
World Points List: Rory McIlroy Viktor Hovland
Paul Casey Matt Fitzpatrick
Lee Westwood
Captain’s picks: Sergio Garcia Shane Lowry
Ian Poulter

We take a close look at the Ryder Cup records of those set to represent Team Europe in this year’s contest…

Jon Rahm

Appearances – One (2018)

Record – Won 1 Lost 2 Halved 0

Rahm lost his first two matches on his debut in 2018 when partnering Justin Rose and then Ian Poulter in fourballs, only to defeat Tiger Woods 3&2 in the Sunday singles and help Europe to victory.

The 26-year-old Spaniard is a far more experienced player now, having won the 2019 Race to Dubai and going on to accumulate 13 victories as a professional. The latest of those saw Rahm claim his first major victory at this year’s US Open and, after finishing in the top 10 in all four majors this year, he spearheads the European team as world No 1.

Tommy Fleetwood

Appearances – One (2018)

Record – Won 4 Lost 1 Halved 0

Fleetwood formed a record-breaking partnership with Francesco Molinari during his debut in Europe’s 2018 success, becoming the first European pairing to win all four matches together. The Englishman was then despatched 6&4 by Tony Finau on the final day – one of just four European defeats on Sunday – although the loss had little impact on the result.

The 30-year-old has won five times on the European Tour but has yet to win in the United States, and he has slipped down the world rankings after a victory drought which dates back to the Nedbank Golf Challenge in November 2019. He has shown signs of a return to form in recent weeks, though, and finished tied for second at the Italian Open earlier this month.

Tyrrell Hatton

Appearances – One (2018)

Record – Won 1 Lost 2 Halved 0

Hatton was twice paired with Paul Casey in the fourballs in 2018, losing 1up to the strong US pair of Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth before they claimed an impressive 3&2 victory over Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler. He then went down 3&2 to ‘Captain America’ Patrick Reed in the singles.

The 29-year-old Englishman has six European Tour victories to his name and also claimed his maiden PGA Tour victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last year. He has, however, missed the cut in four of his last six appearances, including his defence of the BMW PGA Championship title.

Rory McIlroy

Appearances – Five (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018)

Record – Won 11 Lost 9 Halved 4

The Northern Irishman has been ever-present in the European side since making his debut in Europe’s 2010 victory. He teamed up with Poulter to claim a vital point in the Saturday fourballs at Medinah, ensuring Europe would only go into that history-making final day 10-6 behind, with McIlroy then recovering from nearly missing his tee time to beat Keegan Bradley in the singles.

McIlroy registered 2.5 points in 2014 before winning three matches alongside Thomas Pieters at Hazeltine two years later, where he was narrowly beaten in an epic tussle against Reed on the final day. The 32-year-old returned victories when partnering Poulter and then Sergio Garcia in 2018, with McIlroy featuring in every session in each of the last four Ryder Cups.

He ended his victory drought by winning the Wells Fargo Championship in May, but his wait for a fifth major win, which dates back to 2014, continues and he has now dropped outside the top 10 in the world rankings.

Viktor Hovland

Appearances – Debut

The 23-year-old Norwegian is making his debut but, after a fine amateur career, he has made his mark on the PGA Tour with two victories and has been inside the top 20 in the world rankings since last December.

Hovland also tasted success on the European Tour this year at the BMW International Open in Germany in June which he followed by tying for 12th place at The Open, while he was also an encouraging joint-fourth at the Tour Championship earlier this month.

Paul Casey

Appearances – Four (2004, 2006, 2008, 2018)

Record – Played 12 Won 4 Lost 3 Halved 5

Casey made his debut in Europe’s record-breaking victory at Oakland Hills in 2004 and was unbeaten in his four matches at The K Club in 2006, halving both sessions when partnering Robert Karlsson before firing a hole-in-one to seal victory with David Howell in the Saturday foursomes.

The 44-year-old Englishman only made a half-point during the loss at Valhalla in 2008 and did not return to the European side for another decade, where he formed a winning partnership with Hatton in the fourballs before halving his match with Brooks Koepka on the final day in France.

Casey has won three times on the PGA Tour and 15 times on the European Tour, the last of them coming at the Dubai Desert Classic in January. He has been in consistent form since then with a number of top-10 finishes, including at the PGA Championship and US Open.

Matt Fitzpatrick

Appearances – One (2016)

Record – Played 2 Won 0 Lost 2 Halved 0

Fitzpatrick was one of four players to fail to register a point in the 2016 defeat, his Ryder Cup debut, losing 3&2 alongside Henrik Stenson in the foursomes before being beaten 4&3 by Zach Johnson in the singles.

The 27-year-old Englishman has claimed six European Tour victories, the last of them coming at the DP World Tour Championship last December after which he started this year with several top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour, although his form had started to tail off before a decent performance at the BMW PGA Championship.

Lee Westwood

Appearances – 10 (1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016)

Record – Played 44 Won 20 Lost 18 Halved 6

Westwood will equal Sir Nick Faldo’s record for most Ryder Cup appearances for Team Europe when he features at Whistling Straits, having been part of Thomas Bjorn’s backroom staff at Le Golf National. The Englishman will become the oldest player to play for Europe since Christy O’Connor Snr in 1973, when only players from Great Britain and Ireland competed against the USA.

The 48-year-old formed winning partnerships with Faldo and Darren Clarke during the early part of his Ryder Cup career and then won three matches with Garcia in the 2002 contest, before going unbeaten in the next two Ryder Cups – including when he played alongside Clarke, who had tragically lost his wife a few months earlier, at The K Club.

Westwood failed to register win at Valhalla but collected 2.5 points in the narrow victory at Celtic Manor, while a 3&2 win over Matt Kuchar on the final day in 2012 pulled Europe back to 12-12 on their way to the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ win. He also partnered Victor Dubuisson to two points in 2014, although lost all three matches – as a wildcard pick – during the 2016 defeat.

He has yet to win a major but has 25 European Tour victories to his name, the last coming in January 2020 at the Abu Dhabi Championship on his way to winning last year’s Race to Dubai. He finished second at The Players Championship in March but is without a top-10 finish since then and struggled in the final round of the BMW PGA Championship as he just clung on to an automatic qualifying place.

Bernd Wiesberger

Appearances – Debut

The 35-year-old will become the first Austrian to feature in the Ryder Cup after clinching his place at the BMW PGA Championship with a battling performance at Wentworth.

Wiesberger has picked up eight European Tour victories, the last at the Made in HimmerLand in May before going close when finishing second at the European Masters last month. He has made 28 major appearances with a best finish of tied-15th at the 2014 PGA Championship.

Shane Lowry

Appearances – Debut

The 34-year-old Irishman just failed to secure an automatic qualifying place at the BMW PGA Championship, but was quickly rewarded for his efforts with a captain’s pick from Harrington.

Lowry has plenty of European Tour and PGA Tour experience and showed he is a man for the big occasion by winning The Open at Royal Portrush in 2019. He has not missed a cut since March and finished tied for fourth at the PGA Championship and joint-12th at The Open.

Sergio Garcia

Appearances – Nine (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018)

Record – Played 41 Won 22 Lost 12 Halved 7

The 41-year-old Spaniard is another of Harrington’s picks and he must have been impossible to ignore after he became Europe’s all-time leading points scorer with 25.5 points in 2018 when he teamed up for victories alongside Alex Noren and McIlroy before defeating Fowler 2&1 in the singles.

Garcia has scored at least two points on eight of his nine appearances and became only the sixth player to claim four-and-a-half points out of a possible five at Oakland Hills in 2004. In 2006 at The K Club he was unbeaten over the first two days to become only the second player after Ian Woosnam to win all four points from his foursomes and fourball matches.

He claimed his only major victory at the 2017 Masters and picked up his 11th PGA Tour success at the Sanderson Farms Championship last October and had encouraging top-10 finishes in the last two FedExCup Playoff events.

Ian Poulter

Appearances – Six (2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2018)

Record – Played 22 Won 14 Lost 6 Halved 2

Nicknamed ‘The Postman’ because he always delivers, Poulter’s claims were also too hard to ignore for Harrington, having lost just six of his 22 matches and being undefeated in the singles.

The 45-year-old Englishman won all four of his matches to inspire Europe to their miraculous comeback victory at Medinah in 2012, where in the Saturday fourball matches he and McIlroy were two down with six to play before Poulter made five consecutive birdies to earn a morale-boosting point.

He also won alongside McIlroy in 2018 but also lost alongside both the Northern Irishman and Rahm before claiming a big point by beating Dustin Johnson 2up in the singles.

Poulter is without a victory since the 2018 Houston Open, but had been producing some consistent results this year before missing the cut at the BMW PGA Championship.

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