Europe's Ryder Cup team
Golf: A closer look at the 12 European players who will look to defend the Ryder Cup at Medinah in Chicago at the end of next month.
Age 29. Brussels, Belgium. Caps 0. Majors 0. World 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 captured Volvo World Match Play. Biggest hitter on Tour last year and this. Chosen as wild card.
34. Hemel Hempstead, England. Caps 3 (2004-06-10). Record P11 W8 H1 L2. Majors 0. Rank 2.
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.
32. Castellon, Spain. Caps 5 (1999-2002-04-06-08). Record P24 W14 H4 L6. Majors 0. Rank 14.
Slumped from second to 85th in world before two wins in Spain late last year and another on US Tour 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.
34. Svedala, Sweden. Caps 1 (2010). Record P3 W1 L2. Majors 0. Rank 34.
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.
27. Dusseldorf, Germany. Caps 1 (2010). Record P4 W2 H1 L1. Majors 1 (2010 USPGA). Rank 27.
World number one 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.
43. Aberdeen, Scotland. Caps 1 (1999). Record P5 W3 H1 L1. Majors 1 (1999 Open). Rank 30.
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 finished qualifying campaign with another victory.
33. Portrush, Northern Ireland. Caps 2 (2008-10). Record P8 W4 H2 L2. Majors 1 (2010 US Open). Rank 13
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.
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 recent USPGA victory came by a record margin. It also took him back to world number one.
29. Turin, Italy. Caps 1 (2010). Record P3 H1 L2. Rank 25.
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 and earns second cap now as Edoardo recovers from wrist surgery.
36. Hitchin, England. Caps 3 (2004-08-10). Record P11 W8 L3. Majors 0. Rank 23.
Runner-up to Padraig Harrington in 2008 Open and responded to 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. Unbeaten in singles.
32. Johannesburg, South Africa. Caps 1 (2008). Record P4 W3 L1. Majors 0. Rank 8.
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.
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’ five-year reign as world number one 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.
CAPTAIN JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL
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’ death he follows him as Europe’s captain. Career threatened by rheumatism, but came back to win second Masters and three more caps.