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The Ryder Cup 2016: a closer look at the European team

In just twenty days from now, the 41st Ryder Cup will tee off at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

The European team’s 12 player listing was completed when Captain Darren Clarke announced his three wildcard picks, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Ryder Cup debutant Thomas Pieters.

With the addition of Thomas Pieters, the European team now includes six rookies. By contrast, Brooks Koepka is the only player of the top 8 American qualifiers with no previous Ryder Cup experience.

Meet the European Ryder Cup team:

1.Rafa Cabrera Bello

Spains-Rafael-Cabrera-Bel-001

Nationality: Spainish
Age: 32
OWGR: 27
Ryder Cup appearances: Debut
Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0
PGA Tour victories: 0
European Tour victories: 2
Major championship victories: 0

2.Matthew Fitzpatrick

Nationality: English
Age: 22 when the matches begin
OWGR: 48
Ryder Cup appearances: Debut
Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0
PGA Tour victories: 0
European Tour victories: 2
Major championship victories: 0

3. Sergio Garcia

Nationality: Spainish
Age: 36
OWGR: 12
Ryder Cup appearances: 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014
Ryder Cup record: 18-9-5
PGA Tour victories: 9
European Tour victories: 11
Major championship victories: 0

4. Martin Kaymer (Captain’s Pick)

Nationality: German
Age: 31
OWGR: 50
Ryder Cup appearances: 2010, 2012, 2014
Ryder Cup record: 4-3-3
PGA Tour victories: 3
European Tour victories: 11
Major championship victories: PGA Championship (2010); U.S. Open (2014)

5. Rory McIlroy

Nationality: Northern Irish
Age: 27
OWGR: 5
Ryder Cup appearances: 2010, 2012, 2014
Ryder Cup record: 6-4-4
PGA Tour victories: 11
European Tour victories: 13
Major championship victories: U.S. Open (2011); Open Championship (2014); PGA Championship (2012, 2014)

6. Thomas Pieters (Captain’s Pick)

Nationality: Belgian
Age: 24
OWGR: 41
Ryder Cup appearances: Debut
Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0
PGA Tour victories: 0
European Tour victories: 3
Major championship victories: 0

7. Justin Rose

Nationality: English
Age: 36
OWGR: 10
Ryder Cup appearances: 2008, 2012, 2014
Ryder Cup record: 9-3-2
PGA Tour victories: 7
European Tour victories: 9
Major championship victories: U.S. Open (2013)

8. Henrik Stenson

Nationality: Sweedish
Age: 40
OWGR: 4
Ryder Cup appearances: 2006, 2008, 2014
Ryder Cup record: 5-4-2
PGA Tour victories: 5
European Tour victories: 11
Major championship victories: Open Championship (2016)

9. Andy Sullivan

Nationality: English
Age: 29
OWGR: 42
Ryder Cup appearances: Debut
Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0
PGA Tour victories: 0
European Tour victories: 3
Major championship victories: 0

10.Lee Westwood (Captain’s Pick)

Nationality: English
Age: 43
OWGR: 46
Ryder Cup appearances: 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014
Ryder Cup record: 20-15-6
PGA Tour victories: 2
European Tour victories: 23
Major championship victories: 0

11. Danny Willett

Nationality: English
Age: 28
OWGR: 11
Ryder Cup appearances: Debut
Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0
PGA Tour victories: 1
European Tour victories: 5
Major championship victories: Masters (2016)

12.Chris Wood

Nationality: English
Age: 28
OWGR: 28
Ryder Cup appearances: Debut
Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0
PGA Tour victories: 0
European Tour victories: 3
Major championship victories: 0

 

 

The Jug, the Jacket and now the medal

After all those controversies and withdrawals by top golfers, golf’s return to Olympics turned out to be a huge and unexpected success.

Great Britain’s Justin Rose scripted history after scoring an ace on day 1 and continued his fine form to win the gold medal. Justin Rose scored a total of 268 after his four rounds of game play.

“This has resonated far wider than my US Open win,” admitted Rose who won his only major to date at Merion in 2013. The golfer says he has received congratulatory messages from “the darkest recesses” of his phone’s contacts book.

“I’ve actually had more messages after the men’s Olympic golf event than I’ve had after Open Championships,” he said. “The reaction has been terrific.

“These smaller countries that asked us, begged us, to get golf into the Olympics were dead right.

“It is going to increase exposure in their countries, get more government recognition and funding to the game, which – apart from expanding our competitive landscape – is why we did this.”

Henrik Stenson scored a total of 270 after his four rounds to win a silver for his country.

Henrik tweeted “Thanks for all the support, did not win the gold but I leave with silver and memories that will last forever! Congrats Justin.”

The 38-year-old Matt Kuchar fired an eight-under 63 to match the four-day-old course record set by Marcus Fraser and earn an improbable bronze medal.

“I’ve never been so excited to finish top-three in my life,” he said. “I’ve never felt so much pride busting out of my chest.”

The India duo of SSP Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri had a disappointing end to their Olympic journey as they finished tied 50 and 57 to end their medal dreams.

The golf’s women event at Olympics begins today.