By Thomas Dodd

  • Rundown of Team Europe for 2016 Ryder Cup, qualification achieved through World/European points list and three Wildcard picks
  • Team contains five rookies including Masters Champion Danny Willett
  • Europe, captained by Darren Clarke, will defend trophy at Hazeltine from September 30 to October 2
RYDER CUP – Team Europe are on their way to the USA for this year’s competition and we give you the run-down on the team.

 

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Team Europe

Captain: Darren Clarke (Northern Ireland)

Vice-Captains: Thomas Bjorn (Denmark), Padraig Harrington (Ireland), Paul Lawrie (Scotland), Ian Poulter (England), Sam Torrance (England)

Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spain)

Ryder Cup Appearances: 1
Ryder Cup Record: N/A Rookie
2016 Highlights: T5th Shell Houston Open, 3rd Dell Matchplay
Possible Partner/s: Sergio Garcia
About: ‘Bello’ finally makes a European Ryder Cup team after years of hard work on the European Tour. Wasn’t given the credit for beating defending champion McIlroy at the Dell Matchplay earlier in the season but does have a question mark hanging over his performances at the very biggest events.

 

 

Matthew Fitzpatrick (England)

Ryder Cup Appearances: 1
Ryder Cup Record: N/A Rookie
2016 Highlights: T7th Masters, Won Nordea Masters
Possible Partner/s: Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood
About: Two very impressive European Tour wins in the last twelve months show the former US Amateur champion will be a constant force to be reckoned with when fully developed. Of the other rookies in the team, with the exception of Willett, Fitzy will be best prepared to deal with the differing nature and atmosphere of playing in America.

 

 

Sergio Garcia (Spain)

Ryder Cup Appearances: 8
Ryder Cup Record: 8-9-5
2016 Highlights: W  AT&T Byron Nelson, T5 US Open and Open Championship
Possible Partner/s: Rafa Cabrera Bello, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood
About: A man who simply lives for the Ryder Cup. Sergio will be looking forward to taking on the States in their own backyard again after another solid if uninspiring year stateside. In Cabrera-Bello he has another Spanish Matador with whom he can tame the American opposition.

 

 

Martin Kaymer (Germany)

Ryder Cup Appearances: 4
Ryder Cup Record: 4-3-3
2016 Highlights: T7 USPGA Championship
Possible Partner/s: Matt Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan, Chris Wood, Thomas Pieters
About: Way out of sorts, and arguably the luckiest member of the 12 based on his season. The two-time major winner has rarely been in contention in 2016, but his ability to perform when the tough gets going can hardly be questioned after his heroics at Medinah at 2012. Even so, the stats would suggest he may have a quiet week this time around.

 

 

Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland)

Ryder Cup Appearances: 4
Ryder Cup Record: 6-4-4
2016 Highlights: Won DDF Irish Open, Deutsche Bank Championship, TOUR Championship
Possible Partner/s: Matt Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan
About: Europe’s Kingpin. The main man. The Trumpcard. A relatively quiet year was ignited when he won the Deutsche Bank and the way in which he clinched the $10million Fedex Cup in Georgia last weekend was vintage McIlroy. He will go to Minnesota with the biggest spring in his step and provide the leadership and energy to be at the forefront of the visitor’s attack.

 

 

 

Thomas Pieters (Belgium)

Ryder Cup Appearances: 1
Ryder Cup Record: N/A Rookie
2016 Highlights: Won Made in Denmark Danish Open, RU Czech Masters
Possible Partner/s: Martin Kaymer
About: Probably the most unrecognisable name on the team sheet, Pieters’s electric form at the end of the summer made him impossible not to put on the plane. A runner up in the Czech Republic before a win in Denmark was enough to push out Scotland’s Russell Knox and become the first Belgian to represent Europe since Nicolas Colsaerts in 2012.

 

 

 

Justin Rose (England)

Ryder Cup Appearances: 4
Ryder Cup Record: 9-3-2
2016 Highlights: Gold Medal Olympic Games, T10 Masters
Possible Partner/s: Henrik Stenson
About: A quiet year for England’s finest was ignited when Rose claimed the first Olympic Gold in 112 years in Rio. A slow start to the season was made worse by illness and he missed out on a place at the Tour Championship. Getting better with every tournament and he will be well rested by the first Friday at Hazeltine.

 

 

 

Henrik Stenson (Sweden)

Ryder Cup Appearances: 4
Ryder Cup Record: 5-4-2
2016 Highlights: Won Open Championship, BMW International Open, Silver Medal Olympic Games
Possible Partner/s: Justin Rose
About: Finally a major champion, Stenson – similar to likely playing partner Rose – will arrive in Minnesota off the back of a well earned rest after a pretty hot summer. Injuries have curtailed his play in recent weeks but Swede’s steely nerve will make him a tough cookie to beat for the duration of the three days.

 

 

 

Andy Sullivan (England)

Ryder Cup Appearances: 1
Ryder Cup Record: N/A Rookie
2016 Highlights: T12 Open Championship
Possible Partner/s: Rory Mcilroy, Martin Kaymer
About: Three European Tour wins in 2015 were ultimately enough to secure a spot on the plane, but the 2016 form has been a concern, and the man from Nuneaton will have to be careful not to get drowned in a sea of atmosphere and intense scrutiny over the course of the week. Would have to be paired with an experienced head to get the best out of him.

 

 

 

Lee Westwood (England)

Ryder Cup Appearances: 10
Ryder Cup Record: 20-15-6
2016 Highlights: T2 Masters
Possible Partner/s: Danny Willett
About: No one in history has been part of more successful European teams than the man from Worksop, and his close friendship with Darren Clarke meant he was probably one of the easiest picks for a captain in the history of wildcards. A tied second at the Masters was all there was to shout about in 2016, but there’s no one else you’d want more on your Ryder Cup team.

 

 

 

Danny Willett (England)

Ryder Cup Appearances: 10
Ryder Cup Record: 20-15-6
2016 Highlights: T2 Masters
Possible Partner/s: Lee Westwood, Chris Wood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Sergio Garcia
About: A masters winner he may be, but Danny Willett is still a Ryder Cup rookie. And what’s more the form since April has been questionable, and the Englishman hasn’t featured at the right end of the leaderboard in some time. After the camaraderie displayed with Westwood in the final round at Augusta, the Yorkshiremen are a shoe-in pairing for the week.

 

 

Chris Wood (England)

Ryder Cup Appearances: 0
Ryder Cup Record: N/A Rookie
2016 Highlights: Won BMW PGA Championship
Possible Partner/s: Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer
About: Another one flying in under the radar unnoticed – not something Wood is used to at 6 ft 5 – the PGA winner at Wentworth is somewhat struggling for form ahead of his Ryder Cup debut. Along with Sullivan he could find himself getting forgotten very quickly if he doesn’t find his composure quick enough.

 

The Ryder Cup starts on 30 September.

 

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