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Fleetwood, Rose and McIlroy
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Europe

Player Profiles: Automatic eight

FRANCESCO MOLINARI

Francesco Molinari will feature for Europe for the first time since The 2012 Ryder Cup, making his third appearance in total. The Italian featured alongside his brother Edoardo in 2010 and has never been on a losing side in his two appearances.

Molinari qualified in first places on the European Points Lists after a stellar season which saw him rise into the World’s top six. His biggest triumph came at The Open when he became the first Italian to win a Major. He also finished in T6 a few weeks later at the US PGA Championship. A win at the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour and an additional win at the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour have topped off an impressive season for the Italian. 

Age: 35
World Ranking: 6
Previous Ryder Cup Appearances: 2
Ryder Cup record (W-L-T): 0-4-2
Worldwide wins: 7
Victories in 2018: 3
Top 10s in 2018: 6

Trivia: Will tie Costantino Rocca for the most appearances by an Italian player in this his third Ryder Cup.

Quote: “It’s going to be a great honour to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup again. One of the many benefits of winning The Open was that I knew then that I was going to be in the team so it has been a very enjoyable qualification for me this year. I think all of the guys will say the same - I am excited to be part of Team Europe again and will do everything I can to help Thomas and the Team try to win back the Ryder Cup.”

 

JUSTIN ROSE 

This will be Justin Rose’s fourth consecutive Ryder Cup appearance on Team Europe when he tees it up at Le Golf National. Rose has been on the winning side twice in 2012 and 2014, with defeats coming in his first appearance in 2008 and most recently in 2016. 

The Englishman has enjoyed another fine season, especially in the Majors where he has finished inside the top 19 at all four. His best finish was a T2 at The Open, with a T10 finish at the U.S. Open, T12 at The Masters and T19 at the US PGA Championship. To add, Rose also won the Fort Worth Invitational on the PGA Tour in 2018. He also reached a career high World Ranking of second after his runner up finish at The Open. 

Age: 38
World Ranking: 4
Previous Ryder Cup Appearances: 4
Ryder Cup record (W-L-T): 11-6-2
Worldwide wins: 22
Victories in 2018: 1
Top 10s in 2018: 8

Trivia: Rose is the only player to play the Ryder Cup three times or more and average three points per appearance (12 points, 4 appearances).

Quote: “It’s always a long wait for the Ryder Cup and then all of a sudden you realise it’s upon us and a lot of our focus now will turn to doing everything we can for our Captain and Team to bring that trophy on European soil. It’s going to be a great Ryder Cup with two very good teams going head-to-head and it feels like it’s going to be a very close battle this year in Paris.”

 

TYRRELL HATTON 

Tyrrell Hatton makes his maiden appearance on the European team at The 2018 Ryder Cup. The Englishman finished third on the European Points List after consistent performances during the qualifying period. 

It was October of 2017 where Hatton really began to make his claim for the team. He won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for the second consecutive year, then followed that up with a win at the Italian Open a week later. He made the cut in every one of the four Majors this year, finishing in a tie for sixth at the U.S. Open and T10 at the US PGA Championship. 

Age: 26
World Ranking: 25
Previous Ryder Cup Appearances: ROOKIE
Ryder Cup record (W-L-T): ROOKIE
Worldwide wins: 3
Victories in 2018: 0
Top 10s in 2018: 6

Trivia: Tyrrell Hatton became the first player to successfully defend the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with his wins in 2016 and 2017. Although he’s never featured on a Ryder Cup team, he was part of the successful European team at the EurAsia Cup earlier this year.

Quoute: “I’m glad that it’s finally here. I obviously managed to get a lot of my qualification points early on the process so it has been a long wait for me. So to be able to finally get there and get going will be a bit of a relief in some ways. My game is in good shape too so hopefully I can be there to help the Thomas and the team whenever they need me.”

 

TOMMY FLEETWOOD

Tommy Fleetwood is another rookie to make Thomas Bjørn’s side for the Ryder Cup match at Le Golf National, qualifying in fourth place on the European Points List, after a dramatic rise to becoming European Number One. 

2017 was a huge year for Tommy Fleetwood as he won the European Tour’s Race to Dubai thanks to victories at the ABU Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and the HNA Open de France, along with numerous other top 10 finishes. In 2018, Fleetwood successfully defended his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship title and picked up numerous other accolades including matching the lowest ever round at a U.S. Open (63), where he also finished second.

Age: 27
World Ranking: 11
Previous Ryder Cup Appearances: ROOKIE
Ryder Cup record (W-L-T): ROOKIE
Worldwide wins: 4
Victories in 2018: 1
Top 10s in 2018: 7

Trivia: Will join Henrik Stenson as the only players to play in the Ryder Cup having won both the Challenge Tour and European Tour Order of Merits.

Quote: “I’m so happy, honoured and extremely proud to have qualified for the team. I absolutely believe it will be one of the best Ryder Cups ever with the quality of both teams being as high as they are. The atmosphere will be amazing at Le Golf National. Honestly can’t wait for this experience!” 

 

JON RAHM 

Making the team at the top of the World Points List is Jon Rahm, who is yet another rookie who will feature for Thomas Bjørn at Le Golf National. He joins a long list of Spaniard’s who have played in previous Ryder Cups. 

Rahm made it four wins in only 38 professional starts when he won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, which is a ratio bettered only by Tiger Woods in the past 30 years. He has three European Tour victories to his name and a further two PGA Tour titles, which is made even more impressive when you consider his first full season on Tour came in 2017.

Age: 23
World Ranking: 5
Previous Ryder Cup Appearances: ROOKIE
Ryder Cup record (W-L-T): ROOKIE
Worldwide wins: 5
Victories in 2018: 2
Top 10s in 2018: 8

Trivia: Will become just the second Team Europe player born after 1993. Both he and Matt Fitzpatrick, a rookie in 2016, were born in 1994.


Quote: “I have to say that I am really excited to make my Ryder Cup debut for Team Europe. I have spoken to a lot of the guys about it and everyone tells me how amazing of an experience it will be.  Both Teams look to be very strong and hopefully we can come out on top.”

 

RORY MCILROY

Rory McIlroy will make his fifth straight Team Europe appearance at Le Golf National this year. The 29 year old made his debut at the Ryder Cup in 2010 at Celtic Manor and has featured in all three teams since, experiencing his first loss last time out at Hazeltine.

McIlroy finished second on the World Points List thanks to an impressive and consistent campaign. He finished in the top ten of four of the last eight Majors, including this year's Masters and Open Championship and won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in dramatic fashion in March. He has finished runner-up three times in 2018, starting at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic then again at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth before finishing tied second to Francesco Molinari at The Open at Carnoustie. 

Age: 29
World Ranking: 7
Previous Ryder Cup Appearances: 4
Ryder Cup record (W-L-T): 9-6-4
Worldwide wins: 23
Victories in 2018: 1
Top 10s in 2018: 8

Trivia: With his participation this year, McIlroy will join Darren Clarke for the most Team Europe appearances by a player from Northern Ireland. 

Quote: “You can definitely feel the Ryder Cup build-up, especially now that we have our eight qualifiers confirmed. I think we have the makings of a very strong Team and I know that Thomas and his Vice-Captains will think long and hard about the best four players to add to our group on Wednesday. I think Thomas is going to be a great captain. I chatted with him on the phone twice last week, just talking about a few things. He's keeping everyone in the loop.”

 

ALEX NOREN

Qualifying in third place on the World Points List, Alex Noren will feature at The Ryder Cup for the very first time at Le Golf National after his scintillating form over the last two years. 

Since mid-2016, Alex Noren has been in fine form and deserves his place in the World’s top 15 golfers. He’s picked up six wins on the European Tour since July 2016, including two Rolex Series events at the 2017 BMW PGA Championship and, most recently, at the 2018 HNA Open de France. The latter came on the very course the two teams will battle it out on – Le Golf National. 

Age: 36
World Ranking: 15
Previous Ryder Cup Appearances: ROOKIE
Ryder Cup record (W-L-T): ROOKIE
Worldwide wins: 10
Victories in 2018: 1
Top 10s in 2018: 5

Trivia: Alex Noren will be the 10th Swede to represent Europe at The Ryder Cup and has had previous success at the 2018 EurAsia Cup where he secured a vital point in the Sunday singles matches.

Quote: “I think we have a great team already and I am sure Thomas and the Vice-Captains will add even more strength to the Team next week. I’m looking forward to playing my first Ryder Cup – it is something I have thought about for a long time. I’m very happy that we are playing at Le Golf National too – having won around there this year I obviously can play well there so hopefully I can help the Team win as many points as possible.”

 

THORBJØRN OLESEN 

After being on the edge of automatic qualification on both lists, Thorbjørn Olesen managed to claim the final spot on the World Points List to become another rookie in the European side at Le Golf National. 

The Dane has been in consistent form this season on the European Tour, collecting a win at the Italian Open – the third Rolex Series Event of the season. Since then he has picked up four top six finishes including a T2 at the BMW International Open, T3 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, solo fourth at the Nordea Masters and T6 at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation. He has without a doubt fought his way into Bjorn’s squad. 

Age: 28
World Ranking: 40
Previous Ryder Cup Appearances: ROOKIE
Ryder Cup record (W-L-T): ROOKIE
Worldwide wins: 5
Victories in 2018: 1
Top 10s in 2018: 5

Trivia: Attended the Ryder Cup in 2016, driving a buggy for then vice-captain Thomas Bjorn. Says it gave him extra motivation to make the team this year.

Quote: “It feels amazing. I’m very proud. Very proud of the way I’ve handled everything and proud of the way I’ve played this summer. It’s a dream come true to make the team this summer.”