Luke Donald announces Ryder Cup captain’s picks for Team Europe, finalizes 12-man roster

The European Ryder Cup Team has enjoyed an unbeaten streak on home soil for the past 30 years, and the squad determined to maintain that impressive record is now officially set. Captain Luke Donald unveiled the final selections for the 12-man roster, which includes six captain's picks alongside the six automatic qualifiers who secured their spots following the Omega European Masters on Sunday.

The captain's picks for Team Europe are Ludvig Aberg, Tommy Fleetwood, Nicolai Hojgaard, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose, and Sepp Straka. These players will join the six automatic qualifiers: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Robert MacIntyre, Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton, and Matt Fitzpatrick.

Captain Donald expressed his satisfaction with the 12-strong team, stating, "I'm extremely happy with the 12 strong we have. We are in a great position."

These selections represent a balance of youth and experience, with particular attention drawn to Ludvig Aberg's inclusion. Aberg, at 23 years old, secured his PGA TOUR card after topping the PGA TOUR University rankings earlier in the year. He has made an immediate impact as a professional, culminating in his victory at the DP World Tour's Omega European Masters. Aberg's rise to prominence is notable, as he will become the first Ryder Cup player without prior experience in a major championship.

Luke Donald challenged Aberg to compete in Europe to secure his spot, and he responded with a fifth-place finish two weeks ago followed by his victory on Sunday.

The additions of Fleetwood, Lowry, and Rose, combined with the experience of the automatic qualifiers, provide a well-rounded team with both seasoned veterans and promising newcomers.

Unlike the U.S. Team, which selects its automatic qualifiers from a single ranking, the European Team's automatic qualifiers are determined from two rankings: the European Points List and the World Points List. McIlroy, Rahm, and MacIntyre qualified from the European Points List, while Hovland, Hatton, and Fitzpatrick earned their spots through the World Points List.

Here's a closer look at the first six golfers on the European Team:

  1. Rory McIlroy

    • FedExCup rank: 4th
    • Official World Golf Ranking: 2nd
    • European Points List Rank: 1st
    • World Points List Rank: 1st
    • Ryder Cup record: 12-12-4
  2. Jon Rahm

    • FedExCup rank: T18
    • Official World Golf Ranking: 3rd
    • European Points List Rank: 2nd
    • World Points List Rank: 2nd
    • Ryder Cup record: 4-3-1
  3. Robert MacIntyre

    • FedExCup rank: N/A (6th in DP World Tour's Race to Dubai rankings)
    • Official World Golf Ranking: 55th
    • European Points List Rank: 3rd
    • World Points List Rank: 10th
    • Ryder Cup record: Rookie
  4. Viktor Hovland

    • FedExCup rank: 1st
    • Official World Golf Ranking: 4th
    • European Points List Rank: 17th
    • World Points List Rank: 3rd
    • Ryder Cup record: 0-3-2
  5. Tyrrell Hatton

    • FedExCup rank: 16th
    • Official World Golf Ranking: 13th
    • European Points List Rank: 11th
    • World Points List Rank: 4th
    • Ryder Cup record: 2-4-1
  6. Matt Fitzpatrick

    • FedExCup rank: 9th
    • Official World Golf Ranking: 8th
    • European Points List Rank: 28th
    • World Points List Rank: 6th
    • Ryder Cup record: 0-5-0

In addition to these six, the European Team now boasts the exciting talents of Ludvig Aberg, Tommy Fleetwood, Nicolai Hojgaard, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose, and Sepp Straka. Each player brings their unique skills and experiences to the team.

The Ryder Cup, hosted on home soil, holds great significance for Team Europe, and they are poised to defend their impressive record with this formidable lineup. The balance of seasoned veterans and rising stars promises an exciting competition in Rome.