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The usually-biennial competition was delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic but has finally arrived, with captain Padraig Harrington having completed his 12-man squad with three wildcard picks following the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth earlier this month.
As is often the case, the US would appear to have the upper hand when it comes to world rankings and major wins, but so often in the past European teams have defied the formbook and risen to the occasions.
Here are the men charged with retaining the trophy...
World ranking: 1
Ryder Cup record: 1-2-0 (Won-lost-halved)
The World no1 has enjoyed a terrific season, finishing in the top-ten at all four majors and claiming his first major triumph at the US Open. This will be the Spaniard’s second Ryder Cup appearance following on from his debut at Le Golf National three years ago, where he lost his opening two matches before beating Tiger Woods in Sunday’s singles.
World ranking: 36
Ryder Cup record: 4-1-0
The Englishman was one of Europe’s heroes three years ago, forming a formidable partnership with Francesco Molinari - who has not qualified this time - as the duo became the first European pair to win all four of their matches in one edition of the tournament. Has struggled for form, without a win since November 2019, but finished second at Italian Open earlier this month.
World ranking: 19
Ryder Cup record: 1-2-0
The Englishman is another who made his debut in France and could resume his partnership with countryman Phil Casey at Whistling Straits. Enjoyed a stellar 2020 with maiden PGA Tour win and BMW PGA Championship success but not hit same heights in 2021 and continues to underperform at majors.
World ranking: 61
Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0
One of three rookies in Padraig Harrington’s team, the Austrian sealed an automatic place at the final qualifying event at Wentworth and will become the first man from his country to feature in the Ryder Cup. Last Tour win came in May but might have won European Masters last month had it not been for a double-bogey on the final hole.
World ranking: 15
Ryder Cup record: 11-9-4
The Northern Irishman is now one of Europe’s most experienced men, about to make his sixth Ryder Cup appearance having featured in every team since his debut 11 years ago. Claimed his first victory since 2019 at the Wells Fargo Championship in May and was in contention at the business end of both the US Open and Tokyo Olympics. Ryder Cups tends to bring out another side of him.
World ranking: 13
Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0
Another rookie and another player who will become the first golfer from his nation to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup. The Norwegian is considered one of the sport’s brightest young talents and seems likely to become a staple of the European side for years to come. At 23, already has two PGA Tour wins to his name and claimed his first European Tour title at the BMW International this summer.
World ranking: 23
Ryder Cup record: 4-3-5
The Englishman returned from a decade-long Ryder Cup exodus to help Europe to victory in 2018 and has been playing some of the best golf of his long career in recent years. A first major remains elusive, but the 44-year-old has three top-ten finishes in the last two years, including at this season’s PGA Championship and US Opn.
World ranking: 27
Ryder Cup record: 0-2-0
Back for his second Ryder Cup appearance and will be looking to register his first point after losing both of his matches on debut at Hazeltine in 2016. Won the DP World Tour Championship late last year and only missed out on Scottish Open success in a playoff this summer. Has also made the cut at all five majors held in the last 12 months, though without finishing in the top 20 at any of them.
World ranking: 34
Ryder Cup record: 20-18-6
After making the team for ten straight editions, the Englishman had to settle for a role as vice-captain to Thomas Bjorn in 2018 but is back in a playing capacity this time and will equal Nick Faldo’s European record of 11 Ryder Cup appearances. Form is a worry, however, with the 48-year-old having barely clung on to an automatic qualifying place at Wentworth.
World ranking: 43
Ryder Cup record: 22-12-7
The first of Padraig Harrington’s three captain’s picks, Garcia is the leading points scorer in the history of the Ryder Cup and Europe’s talisman. Defied poor form to win three points after wildcard selection in 2018 but looks in much better touch this time around. Value to team will stretch far beyond the points he claims.
World ranking: 40
Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0
The rookie who doesn’t feel like a rookie, the 34-year-old major winner pipped Englishman Justin Rose to be the final wildcard pick for good friend Harrington. The 2019 Open champion put in a disappointing final round at Wentworth that saw him miss automatic qualification but has enjoyed a consistent 2021, including a top-five finish at the PGA Championship.
World ranking: 49
Ryder Cup record: 14-6-2
Nicknamed the postman for his knack of delivering for Europe on the biggest stage, Poulter was, like Garcia, always expected to be handed one of Harrington’s captain’s picks. The 45-year-old saves his best for the Ryder Cup, inspiring the ‘Miracle of Medinah’ comeback in 2012, and remains unbeaten in singles as he heads into his seventh tournament.