Luke Donald and Zach Johnson have revealed their Captain's picks and teams for the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club
It's only 25 days to go until Team Europe and Team USA take to Marco Simone in Rome where Team USA will be looking to keep their hands on the Ryder Cup after a dominating 19-9 victory at Whistling Straits in 2021. The largest winning margin since the event included all of Europe in 1979.
After the completion of the Omega European Masters on Sunday evening, the final automatic qualifying spaces were filled for Team Europe, with Luke Donald adding his six Captain's picks on Monday afternoon live on Sky Sports News in London.
Team Europe - the final 12
The players who automatically qualified via the European Ryder Cup points and World points list were:
Rory McIlroy (European Points)
John Rahm (European Points)
Robert MacIntyre (European Points)
Viktor Hovland (World Points)
Tyrrell Hatton (World Points)
Matt Fitzpatrick (World Points)
Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, who were in the top two spots in both points systems, took the first two European points spots and were joined by Scotland's Robert MacIntyre after his tied 55th place in Switzerland was enough for him to make his rookie appearance in Italy.
FedExCup champion Viktor Hovland and England's Tyrrell Hatton had already automatically qualified via the World Points List. Fellow Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick's tied-third finish saw leap frog Tommy Fleetwood to gain his third Ryder Cup start.
Team Europe Captain picks
At a press conference hosted at Sky Sports in London, Captain Luck Donald confirmed his six Captain's picks.
Unsurprisingly his first pick was Tommy Fleetwood, as just mentioned, only narrowly missing out on automatic selection. Of Fleetwood, Donald said:
"Experience is important but my nickname for Tommy is the flusher. We know his pedigree and he is versatile and can be paired with anyone."
Looking ahead to his third Ryder Cup, Fleetwood said:
"Very cool, playing in a Ryder Cup is a lifelong goal. Getting this one feels very special. It's been a great year trying to qualify for the team and thankful to get a pick."
Second up was Austrian Sepp Straka, the 30-year-old will be making his first appearance in a Ryder Cup.
"It was a definite goal to make the team. But it always seemed so distant. Very honoured and happy to be here."
With Donald commenting:
"His commitment and form cannot be denied and he has had two strong years on the PGA Tour. He's a great driver of the ball which will really suit Marco Simone."
Playing in his sixth Ryder Cup will be Justin Rose, as Donald's third pick. Who will bring a wealth of experience to the European Team. Having not played in 2021, Rose was pleased to be back:
"This has been a huge motivation for me. The last one hurt not being a part of it. Looking back at the amazing experiences is why I wanted to be a part of it. Coming at it slightly differently this year as the veteran of the team!"
"You want a real balance of experience and rookies. He's been there before, been in those moments and delivered. A very well-deserved pick."
No big surprises in the picks so far... Now for pick number four... Shane Lowry.
"I am incredibly proud and grateful. Excited for Rome. Very pleased that Luke has given me the opportunity to play in one again. I am looking forward to a home Ryder Cup and looking to win it."
Passion and ability to deliver were top of Donald's list:
"Again, you want that balance. In Whistling Straits we saw his passion. He turns up in those big moments and is able to deliver."
Pick five was another rookie Denmark's Nicolai Højgaard:
"It feels amazing, it's hard to put into words. I can't describe how excited I am. To play with players I have grown up watching is unbelievable. I can't wait to be on the first tee and battling it out with my team."
Donald was quick to add that there was no denying that Hojgaard is in form:
"I wanted some inform players in my team and that's what you want from your Captain's picks."
Donald's final pick was Ludvig Aberg, winner of the Omega European Masters just yesterday. A superstar in the making in Donald's words, will be making his Ryder Cup debut. Aberg only turned professional in June but has already proved himself on the biggest stages. It will be exciting to see him in action at Marco Simone.
Team USA - the final 12
Who will this European side be facing? Team USA's six automatic qualifiers were confirmed after the completion of the BMW Championship, the penultimate FedExCup playoff event on the PGA Tour, on August 20:
Team USA Captain picks
During a press conference on Tuesday, August 29, at the home of the PGA of America in Frisco, Texas, Captain Zach Johnson made his six Captain's picks. These followed the day after Stacy Lewis made her final picks for the Solheim Cup, taking place the week before at Finca Cortesin in Spain.
Johnson announced his Captain picks to join the six players that had already qualified after the completion of the Tour Championship which was won by Viktor Hovland.
Commenting on the six automatic qualifiers Johnson said:
"Scottie Scheffler: I don't think I need to describe him. No. 1 player in the world. Mr. Consistency. Two wins, including THE PLAYERS Championship this year.
"Wyndham Clark: Two wins, U.S. Open being one of them. Lots of power, very energetic, rookie.
"My boy Brian Harman: St. Simons Island, my hometown now. Won the Open by six shots. He's a Bulldog, and all pun intended there.
"Patrick Cantlay: Again, another model of consistency. Played great at the end of the year. No one is surprised.
"Max Homa: Two wins this year, rookie Ryder Cupper but played some high-level international golf. He's our prom king.
"Xander Schauffele: Played amazing, especially as of late but the whole year, and a great team player. Loves the Cups.
"Quality guys, great competitors, and probably better off the course than even on it."
The Team USA Captain then dived straight into his Captain's picks:
"A lot of time, a lot of energy has gone into this process. That's probably no secret. I am very confident in these six, and my confidence comes from the mere fact that I am surrounding myself with great people, specifically my vice captains, who have been absolutely amazing and our analytics team. They give us a lot of great information that we can chew on. Then from there, we came up with what we felt was six guys that made these other six whole.
"Without further ado, our six gentlemen that will be joining our qualifiers are Mr. Sam Burns, Mr. Rickie Fowler, Mr. Brooks Koepka, Mr. Collin Morikawa, Mr. Jordan Spieth, and Mr. Justin Thomas.
"To say I'm excited about these gents would be an understatement. They check all the boxes. Fierce competitors, great versatility, great flexibility when it comes to pairings, when it comes to the fit for Marco Simone, a great fit for each other, which is massive.
"With that, I think, comes a lot of just awesome options, successful pairings, an opportunity to do what we want to do, and that's to win.
"Got some great experience in there, too, considering we are going across the pond. No easy feat. But I'm confident that these guys, along with the other six, now we're 12, 12 strong, if you will, will be ready to go at the end of September."
So there you have it – we now know who will be facing each other in Italy. The Ryder Cup will tee off just five days after the completion of the Solheim Cup in Finca Cortesin. It's set to be a thrilling couple of weeks of team golf this September.
We’ll be keeping you up to date throughout, so be sure to keep an eye on the website and our social channels.