The Ryder Cup: Meet the Team – Europe

From Rory McIlroy to Lee Westwood, Golfmagic.com editor Alex Perry introduces the European golfers bidding to retain their title

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Lee Westwood

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Born: April 24 1973, Worksop, England
Ryder Cup appearances: 7
Ryder Cup record (W-L-H): 16-11-6 (Singles 2-5-0; Foursomes 7-2-4; Fourballs 7-4-2)

Making his eighth Ryder Cup appearance, Westwood has impressed in the Foursomes and Fourballs, though his singles record is poor. Westwood went unbeaten in the 2004 and 2006 matches and the Europe will need a similar performance from their talisman.

Sergio Garcia

Born: January 9 1980, Castellon, Spain
Ryder Cup appearances: 5
Ryder Cup record (W-L-H): 14-6-4 (Singles 5-1-4; Foursomes 8-0-1; Fourballs 5-2-3)

Like compatriots Seve Ballesteros and José María Olazábal, the Ryder Cup brings the best out of Garcia, who has a phenomenal record, particularly in Foursomes. Put your money on Garcia to be Europe’s top point scorer.

Luke Donald

Born: December 7 1977, High Wycombe, England
Ryder Cup appearances: 3
Ryder Cup record (W-L-H): 8-2-1 (Singles 2-1-0; Foursomes 6-0-0; Fourballs 0-1-1)

Donald has had an incredible two years since the last Ryder Cup, becoming the first player ever to win the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic as well as a 55-week stint at World No.1. And with eight-and-a-half points from a possible 11, the Englishman enjoys this tournament.

Ian Poulter

Born: 10 January 1976, Hitchin, England
Ryder Cup appearances: 3
Ryder Cup record (W-L-H): 8-3-0 (Singles 3-0-0; Foursomes 2-1-0; Fourballs 3-2-0)

In 2010, before his singles showdown with Matt Kuchar, Poulter stared into a Sky Sports camera and declared: “I will win a point.” The Englishman thrives under the pressure and his pick as one of Olazábal’s wildcards was never in doubt. 

Graeme McDowell

Born: July 30 1979, Portrush, Northern Ireland
Ryder Cup appearances: 2
Ryder Cup record (W-L-H): 4-2-2 (Singles 2-0-0; Foursomes 1-1-1; Fourballs 1-1-1)

McDowell’s form of late has been a concern, but that won’t mean anything when the Ulsterman tees up at Medinah. G-Mac holed the winning putt two years ago at a rain-sodden Celtic Manor in the first Ryder Cup to ever finish on a Monday.

Rory McIlroy

Born: May  4 1989, Holywood, Northern Ireland
Ryder Cup appearances: 1
Ryder Cup record (W-L-H): 1-1-2 (Singles 0-0-1; Foursomes 1-1-0; Fourballs 0-0-1)

Two years ago, McIlroy dismissed the Ryder Cup as “just an exhibition”. After playing at Celtic Manor, he changed his tune. “I realise now what the Ryder Cup means. I want to play in it for the next 20 years.” The World No.1 is golf’s hottest property right now.

Justin Rose

Born: July 30 1980, Johannesburg, South Africa (hometown: London, England)
Ryder Cup appearances: 1
Ryder Cup record (W-L-H): 3-1-0 (Singles 1-1-0; Foursomes 2-1-1; Fourballs 1-0-0)

Rose was controversially left out of the last Ryder Cup by Colin Montgomerie, despite winning twice in the run-up to the Celtic Manor event as well as an impressive debut at Valhalla in 2008.

Francesco Molinari

Born: November 8 1982, Turin, Italy
Ryder Cup appearances: 1
Ryder Cup record (W-L-H): 0-2-1 (Singles 0-1-0; Foursomes 0-1-0; Fourballs 0-0-1)

Despite not having the best Ryder Cup debut two years ago, the Italian has had an impressive season and is one of the straightest drivers on Tour. Could be Europe’s secret weapon.

Peter Hanson

Born: October 4 1977, Svedala, Sweden
Ryder Cup appearances: 1
Ryder Cup record (W-L-H): 1-2-0 (Singles 0-1-0; Foursomes 0-1-0; Fourballs 1-0-0)

Hanson only played three matches in his debut two years ago, but he’s been one of the most in-form players on the European Tour this year so expect him to feature more this time around.

Paul Lawrie

Born: January 1 1969, Aberdeen, Scotland
Ryder Cup appearances: 1
Ryder Cup record (W-L-H): 3-1-1 (Singles 1-0-0; Foursomes 1-1-0; Fourballs 1-0-1)

Lawrie made his debut in 1999 and has had to wait until this year for his second appearance. The oldest player in the European side is also one of the most in-form, with two wins and seven top-tens this year earning him an automatic spot in the team.

Martin Kaymer

Born: December 28 1984, Dusseldorf, Germany
Ryder Cup appearances: 1
Ryder Cup record (W-L-H): 2-1-1 (Singles 0-1-0; Foursomes 0-0-1; Fourballs 2-0-0)

Kaymer is the biggest concern among European fans. The German scraped into the side thanks to his glittering 2011 season, but he has been out of sorts this year and his last match was a 6&4 thrashing by Dustin Johnson.

Nicolas Colsaerts

Born: November 14 1982, Brussels, Belgium
Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 0

Europe’s only Ryder Cup rookie this year, Colsaerts fully justified his wildcard pick with victory at the World Matchplay in May, as well as ten top-ten finishes this year.


Golfmagic.com is Europe’s largest digital golf magazine, offering news, views, features and equipment and course reviews, as well as the most populated chat forum on the continent.

Twitter followers can follow @Golfmagic for all the latest Ryder Cup news, and Alex can be found tweeting his own take on proceedings at@APGolf.

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