Ryder Cup 2018: Team Europe’s eight automatic selections

Thorbjorn Olesen joins the likes of Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy in Paris this month

Rory McIlroy will be one of Europe’s big guns in Paris. Photograph: Patrick Smith/Getty

Rory McIlroy will be one of Europe’s big guns in Paris. Photograph: Patrick Smith/Getty

 

Francesco Molinari
World Ranking:
6
Ryder Cups (2): 2010,2012

Hottest player on the planet for much of the summer, a stretch kick-started with a BMW PGA win at Wentworth and which ultimately led to him becoming the first Italian winner of a Major when he lifted the Claret Jug in the British Open at Carnoustie. Improved putting has been the key.

Francesco Molinari with the Claret Jug after his victory at Carnoustie. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty
Francesco Molinari with the Claret Jug after his victory at Carnoustie. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty

Justin Rose
World Ranking:
4
Ryder Cups (4): 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016

Mr Consistent, who tends to feature week-in and week-out at the business end of the leaderboard; has played a carefully mapped out schedule - his latest appearance in the Dell Tech is only his 16th outing of the season - which yielded a win in the Colonial Invitational and eight top-10 finishes. Bjorn will hope Rose - prone to a recurring back injury - can stay injury-free

Mr Consistent, Justin Rose. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty
Mr Consistent, Justin Rose. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

Tyrrell Hatton
World Ranking
: 25
Ryder Cups: Debut

Fiery is one word to describe this Englishman who certainly wouldn’t keep a straight face playing poker. Although he has sought to keep his emotions in check on the course in recent times, that emotion could actually prove an asset in an environment like the Ryder Cup where he can feed off the crowd.

Team Europe’s Tyrell Hatton. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty
Team Europe’s Tyrell Hatton. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

Tommy Fleetwood
World Ranking:
11
Ryder Cups: Debut

Started the season with a win in Abu Dhabi and contended again and again through the season, especially in the Majors where a runner-up finish to Brooks Koepka in the US Open confirmed his development. With an all-round solid golf game and a superb on-course attitude, he will be an easy fit in foursomes and fourballs.

Tommy Fleetwood has enjoyed another strong season. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty
Tommy Fleetwood has enjoyed another strong season. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

Jon Rahm
World Ranking:
5
Ryder Cups: Debut

The man known as Rambo on tour has tried to curb his emotional outbursts, but that temperament is part of what makes him so good. He cares over every shot. With wins in America (CareerBuilders) and Europe (Spanish Open) this season, he has reaffirmed his great talent and continue a great Spanish tradition in the competition.

Jon Rahm is one of five European debutants. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty
Jon Rahm is one of five European debutants. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

Rory McIlroy
World Ranking:
7
Ryder Cups (4): 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016

The Northern Irishman has struggled to get all components of his game to click in any given week, the exception being his win in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Has eight top-10s in his 20 tournament outings this season, along with four missed cuts, but always has a pep in his step when it comes to the Ryder Cup and will be one of Bjorn’s key men.

Alex Noren
World Ranking:
15
Ryder Cups: Debut

Effectively secured his spot on Europe’s team - for what is an overdue debut - with victory in the French Open but has worryingly gone off the boil somewhat since then with back-to-back missed cuts in the US PGA and the Northern Trust, before getting back on track at the Dell Tech. Solid, good temperament and an easy sidekick for whoever he is partnered with, especially in foursomes.

Sweden’s Alex Noren. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty
Sweden’s Alex Noren. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

Thorbjorn Olesen
World Ranking:
40
Ryder Cups: Debut

With a physique chiselled out of his time in the gym, Olesen has made the most of his 5-feet 9-inch frame. The Dane’s win in the Italian Open was the primary reason for catapulting him into an automatic place on Bjorn’s team but he followed up with four top-10s in his next eight tournaments and booked his place on home turf in the Made in Denmark.

Thorbjorn Olesen was Europe’s final automatic selection. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty
Thorbjorn Olesen was Europe’s final automatic selection. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty

Has a team pedigree: he partnered Soren Kjeldsen to World Cup victory in 2016 and has played on winning Seve Trophy and Royal Trophy teams.

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