Ryder Cup player-by-player guide: Meet the European team looking to retain their crown
10:29 GMT, 17 September 2012
Jose Maria Olazabal's European team are looking to retain the Ryder Cup at Medinah in September. Here, Sportsmail runs through the 12 men selected to take on Team USA.
Age 29. Brussels, Belgium. Caps 0. Majors 0. Rank 35
The only uncapped member of Europe’s team. Three years ago was 1,305th in the world and searching for somewhere to play after losing European Tour card, but in remarkable comeback won China Open last year and this May won Volvo World Match Play. Biggest hitter on Tour last year and this. Chosen as wild card.
Age 34. Hemel Hempstead, England. Caps 3 (2004-06-10). Record P11 W8 H1 L2. Majors 0. Rank 3
Lost only one of 10 games in amateur Walker Cup and in Ryder Cups has been beaten only twice in 11. Perfect six out of six record in foursomes partnering Sergio Garcia four times and Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood once each. World No 1 for most of past year and top money-winner in Europe and America last season.
Contrasting form: Colsaerts (left) has surged up the rankings while Donald (right) has lost his No 1 spot
Age 32. Castellon, Spain. Caps 5 (1999-2002-04-06-08). Record P24 W14 H4 L6. Majors 0. Rank 18
Slumped from second to 85th in world before two wins in Spain late last year and another on US Tour win in penultimate week of race. Remains only teenager to play, debut coming a month after he was second to Tiger Woods at Medinah in 1999 USPGA. Unbeaten in nine foursomes, eight of them wins and four of those with Luke Donald.
Age 34. Svedala, Sweden. Caps 1 (2010). Record P3 W1 L2. Majors 0. Rank 23
Made debut at Celtic Manor after winning penultimate event of points race and taking last automatic spot. Joint third in this April’s Masters, where he led with a round to go, and seventh in USPGA. Has also had five top 10 finishes in World Championships, including quarter-finals of February’s Accenture Match Play.
Been there, done it: Garcia (left) and Hanson (right) won at Celtic Manor in 2010
Age 27. Dusseldorf, Germany. Caps 1 (2010). Record P4 W2 H1 L1. Majors 1 (2010 USPGA). Rank 32
World No 1 for eight weeks last year. Beat Bubba Watson in play-off for first major and won next two tournaments as well either side of his cup debut. Closing 63 gave him his first World Championship victory in Shanghai last November, but clung on to last automatic spot after no top 10s since April.
Age 43. Aberdeen, Scotland. Caps 1 (1999). Record P5 W3 H1 L1. Majors 1 (1999 Open). Rank 29
Only Christy O’Connor Jnr waited longer – 14 years – for a second cap. Hit the opening shot on his debut in 1999 and scored 3 1/2 points out of five. Two months earlier won Open from a major record 10 shots back on final day. Had first win for nine years last season and has gone from strength to strength since.
Good things come to those who wait: Former world No 1 Kaymer (left) is joined in the team by Lawrie (right) – who last appeared in the Ryder Cup way back in 1999, the year he won the Open Championship
Age 33. Portrush, Northern Ireland. Caps 2 (2008-10). Record P8 W4 H2 L2. Majors 1 (2010 US Open). Rank 17
Became Europe’s first winner of the US Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970 and four months later was a Ryder Cup hero as well, beating Hunter Mahan in the decisive final singles. Ended an unforgettable year by beating Tiger Woods in a play-off in California. Expected to partner Rory McIlroy as he did at Celtic Manor.
Age 23. Holywood, Northern Ireland. Caps 1 (2010). Record P4 W1 H2 L1. Majors 2 (2011 US Open, 2012 USPGA). Rank 1
Youngest player since Seve Ballesteros to win two majors and both have come by eight shots. Followed compatriot Graeme McDowell as US Open champion, smashing the tournament record score by four, and USPGA victory came by a record margin. Back as world number one he has since added back-to-back FedEx Cup wins.
Double Mac: Ulstermen McIlroy (left) and McDowell (right) are close friends
Age 29. Turin, Italy. Caps 1 (2010). Record P3 H1 L2. Rank 30
Earned debut two years ago and older brother Edoardo, with whom he won the World Cup, was then given wild card. They achieved vital fourball half, but Francesco then ran into red-hot Tiger Woods in singles. Held off Lee Westwood to win world championship in China soon after and climbed into world top 15.
Age 36. Hitchin, England. Caps 3 (2004-08-10). Record P11 W8 L3. Majors 0. Rank 25
Runner-up to Padraig Harrington in 2008 Open and responded to being given a Ryder Cup wild card that year by top-scoring with four points out of five. Inspired again at Celtic Manor two years ago with three wins out of four. Was left needing another wild card this time after Sergio Garcia won last-but-one event.
Italian job: Molinari (left) and wild card pick Poulter (right) – a seasoned Ryder Cup campaigner
Age 32. Johannesburg, South Africa. Caps 1 (2008). Record P4 W3 L1. Majors 0. Rank 9
Only 17 when he finished fourth in the 1998 Open at Royal Birkdale. Won three points out of four on his Ryder Cup debut, including a singles victory over Phil Mickelson, but failed to keep place in 2010 despite two wins in America. Captured world championship title in Miami this March.
Age 39. Worksop, England. Caps 7 (1997-99-2002-04-06-08-10). Record P33 W16 H6 L11. Majors 0. Rank 4
Matched Arnold Palmer’s record 12-game unbeaten cup run in 2008 and with 19 points is closing in on Nick Faldo’s record of 25. Ended Tiger Woods’s five-year reign as world No 1 in 2010, but has twice missed out on a major play-off by one shot and has six top three finishes in them without winning.
Brit of all right: Rose (left) returns to the team while Westwood (right) takes part in his seventh Ryder Cup
CAPTAIN: JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL
Age 46. Caps 7 (1987-89-91-93-97-99-2006) Record P31 W18 H5 L8. Majors 2 (1994-99 Masters).
Made cup debut at 21 and instantly formed formidable partnership with Seve Ballesteros. They went on to have 11 wins, two halves and only two defeats. A year on from Ballesteros’s death he follows him as Europe’s captain. Career threatened by rheumatism, but came back to win second Masters and three more caps.
Veteran: Olazabal first competed at the Ryder Cup in 1987