Ryder Cup 2014: Meet Team Europe

Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and the nine other players hoping to retain golf's historic Ryder Cup trophy for Europe

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Thomas Bjorn

Born: Silkeborg, Denmark

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Age: 43

Ryder Cup appearances: 2 (2 wins)

Best Ryder Cup moment: Sinking America’s Stewart Cink during the 2002 Ryder Cup at The Belfry. Bjorn never trailed the US challenger in their final day singles match, with the Dane eventually winning 2-and-1.

Jamie Donaldson

Born: Pontypridd, Wales

Age: 38

Ryder Cup appearances: Debut

Career high: Winning the Czech Masters this August, his third European Tour win in as many years. Donaldson is the first Welsh golfer to play for Europe since Phillip Price in 2002.

Victor Dubuisson

Born: Cannes, France

Age: 24

Ryder Cup appearances: Debut

Career high: The Ryder Cup rookie won his maiden tour victory at the Turkish Airlines Open in 2013. 

Stephen Gallacher

Born: Dechmont, Scotland

Age: 39

Ryder Cup appearances: Debut

Career high: Paul McGinley’s wildcard choice for this year’s Ryder Cup has never finished in the top 10 of a major, but is likely to have more support than anyone else from his home Scottish crowd. His finish in this year’s Italian Open, where he just missed out on automatic team qualification, was enough to convince McGinley of his talent.

Sergio Garcia

Born: Castellón, Spain

Age: 34

Ryder Cup appearances: 6 (4 wins)

Best Ryder Cup moment: Garcia became the youngest ever golfer to compete at a Ryder Cup when he stepped onto The Country Club course in the United States in 1999. The bullish young Spaniard has got up the noses of the Americans ever since.

Martin Kaymer

Born: Dusseldorf, Germany

Age: 29

Ryder Cup appearances: 2 (2 wins)

Best Ryder Cup moment: The German sank the putt that retained the Ryder Cup for Europe in 2012, after his team made a miraculous recovery from 10-4 down on the Saturday afternoon. Kaymer admitted that if he had been captain, he would not have picked himself, because he felt his form had been so bad in the buildup to the tournament.

Graeme McDowell

Born: Portrush, Northern Ireland

Age: 35

Ryder Cup appearances: 3 (2 wins)

Best Ryder Cup moment: McDowell was the hero in Celtic Manor in 2010, picking up a birdie on the 16th hole that would eventually seal the Ryder Cup for Europe and stop the dangerous US comeback dead in its tracks. It required a 15′ putt to get the score he needed: “The best putt I’d hit in my life,” McDowell said later.

Rory McIlroy

Born: Hollywood, Northern Ireland

Age: 25

Ryder Cup appearances: 2 (2 wins)

Best Ryder Cup moment: Perhaps not the current Open and US PGA champion’s finest hour, but certainly the most dramatic: McIlroy almost forfeited his match when he mixed up Central and Eastern time in the US, meaning he had to have a police escort to get him to the course on time. He arrived with just 11 minutes to spare, but held on to win his match and help Europe to a famous win.

Ian Poulter

Born: Hitchin, England

Age: 38

Ryder Cup appearances: 4 (3 wins)

Best Ryder Cup moment: No contest here. Europe wouldn’t have come close to the ‘Miracle of Medinah’ without Poulter’s five straight birdies on the Saturday afternoon. It revived a dejected team and made Poulter an instant Ryder Cup hero. “I’ve got more pride and passion to give in the Ryder Cup than I feel to win a major,” he says.

Justin Rose

Born: Johannesburg, South Africa (English)

Age: 34

Ryder Cup appearances: 2 (1 win)

Best Ryder Cup moment: Justin Rose says his win over Phil Mickelson in the singles round at Medinah 2012 set him on course to win the US Open the following year. His two final putts on 17 and 18 – 40ft and 12ft respectively – have become part of the folklore surrounding Europe’s remarkable comeback.

Henrik Stenson

Born: Gothenburg, Sweden

Age: 38

Ryder Cup appearances: 2 (1 win)

Best Ryder Cup moment: The Swede is back for Europe after six years out, but his American opponents would do well to remember that it was his putt as a Ryder Cup rookie in 2006 that sealed the win for Europe at The K Club.

Lee Westwood

Born: Worksop, England

Age: 41

Ryder Cup appearances: 8 (6 wins)

Best Ryder Cup moment: Lee Westwood contributed to 2012’s Miracle when he beat American Matt Kuchar, but it is his role helping to guide rookies through their first Ryder Cup experience where Westwood has particularly excelled. In 1999 he was partnered with then-teenager Sergio Garcia, and he has gone on to play with fellow debutants Francesco Molinari and Nicolas Colsaerts.

Paul McGinley (captain)

Born: Dublin, Ireland

Age: 47

Ryder Cup appearances: 3 (3 wins)

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Best Ryder Cup moment: Sinking the putt that clinched victory for Europe in the 2002 Ryder Cup. It was his first appearance at the tournament. How did he cool off after that history-making put? By diving into the lake at The Belfry of course.