Stars of music, sport, screen and more to compete in The 2018 Ryder Cup Celebrity Match
A dazzling line-up of stars including musicians Niall Horan and Nick Jonas, the most decorated Olympian in history, Michael Phelps, Italian football legend Alessandro Del Piero, French tennis luminaries Guy Forget and Yannick Noah and Hollywood stars Jamie Dornan and Samuel L. Jackson will compete in the Celebrity Match ahead of The 2018 Ryder Cup.
Former United States Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, celebrated Olympian and former French Minister of Sports Laura Flessel-Colovic, Irish rugby union legend Brian O’Driscoll and American professional surfer Kelly Slater are amongst the well-known figures from both sides of the Atlantic who will tee it up on the The Albatros Course at Le Golf National
The 10-hole scramble will be contested by 20 celebrities from Europe and the United States from 2 pm to 5.45 pm on Tuesday September 25. The match, which will be played over holes one to five and 14 to 18, will kick off the week’s festivities ahead of the first day of The 42nd Ryder Cup on Friday September 28.
Match 1 - Noah/Forget V McEnroe/Blake
Match 2 - Figo/Del Piero V Wilson/Kinnear
Match 3 - Boon/O'Driscoll V Russell/Jackson
Match 4 - Flessel/Ginola V Slater/Rice
Match 5 - Dornan/Horan V Phelps/Jonas
Celebrities from Europe:
Dany Boon is a French comedian and filmmaker, who was born Daniel Hamidou and takes his stage name from the American television program, Daniel Boone. He began his career dubbing cartoons and performing as a mime in the street. In 1992, he was given his first break as a comedian by French television personality Patrick Sébastien, who invited him on his show. Boon was then offered several roles in movies, notably in the film Joyeux Noël that made it on the international scene in 2005. In February 2008, he released a film called Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis, a comedy based on prejudices held about the region, which went on to break French box-office records. In 2008, Boon was the highest-paid actor in European film history.
Alessandro Del Piero is a former professional football player who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation, and as one of the best Italian players of all time. He won the Serie A Italian Player of the Year award in 1998 and 2008. A prolific goal-scorer, he is currently the second most prolific Italian player in all competitions with 346 goals, behind only Silvio Piola (390).
Jamie Dornan is an actor, model, and musician from Northern Ireland. His wide range of motion picture and television roles span sheriff Graham Humbert in the ABC series Once Upon a Time (2011–2013); and as serial killer Paul Spector in the BBC Two and RTÉ One crime drama series The Fall (2013–2016), the latter of which won him an Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in Television and was nominated for a British Academy Television Award for Best Actor. His film credits include the leading role in the 50 Shades of Grey series.
Luis Figo is a retired Portuguese football star who was a midfielder for Sporting Lisbon, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan before retiring in 2009. He won 127 caps for the Portugal national team, a record at the time that was later broken by Cristiano Ronaldo. Figo is regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation. His 106 assists are the second-most in La Liga history, behind Lionel Messi. Pelé named him in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players. Figo scored 32 goals for Portugal, representing the nation at three UEFA European Championships and two FIFA World Cups.
Laura Flessel-Colovic is a former French Minister of Sports, who served from 2017-18. She was an epée fencer and won five Olympic medals, the most of any French sportswoman. Flessel-Colovic was France's flag-bearer at the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London, which was her fifth and final Olympic competition.
Guy Forget is a retired French tennis player and is currently the director of the French Open. During his career, he helped France win the Davis Cup in both 1991 and 1996 and since retiring has served as France's Davis Cup team captain. Forget first came to the tennis world's attention as an outstanding junior player who won the 1982 French Open junior title. He turned professional later that year. In 1986, he reached the fourth round of Roland Garros, his best grand slam at that point, and won his first top-level singles title in Toulouse, and was also part of the winning World Team Cup unit. In 1987, Forget and Yannick Noah finished runners-up in the men's doubles at the French Open.
David Ginola is a former French international football player who has also worked as an actor, model and football analyst. A former forward, Ginola played football for 10 seasons in in his homeland before making the move from Paris Saint-Germain to Newcastle United in the English Premier League in 1995. He continued playing in the Premier League for Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Everton before retiring in 2002. Since his retirement, Ginola has been an actor and a regular contributor as an analyst to BBC, BT and CNN.
Niall Horan is an Irish singer-songwriter and guitarist, who found stardom as a member of the boy band One Direction and most recently as a solo artist. He is a keen golfer and founder of golf event and management company Modest! Golf. In 2015 he caddied for Rory McIlroy in the Par 3 contest prior to the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. In 2016, Niall and Justin Rose created the "Horan and Rose Gala", a charity event in aid of Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens.
Yannick Noah is a former French professional tennis player who won the 1983 French Open, and is currently the captain of both France's Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams. During a career spanning nearly two decades, Noah captured a total of 23 singles titles and 16 doubles titles, reaching a career-high singles ranking of world number three, and number one in doubles rankings (each in 1986). Since his retirement from tennis, he has been a popular music performer and as the co-founder, with his mother, of a charity organization for underprivileged children. He also is the father of Joakim Noah of the NBA New York Knicks.
Brian O’Driscoll is a retired Irish professional rugby union player. He played at outside center for Leinster and Ireland. He captained his national team from 2003 until 2012, and captained the British and Irish Lions for their 2005 tour of New Zealand. He is regarded as one of the greatest rugby players of all time.
Celebrities from the United States:
James Blake is a retired American tennis player who had 24 singles finals appearances while attaining a career-high world number four ranking. His success on court include reaching the final of the 2006 Tennis Masters Cup, the semifinals of the Beijing Olympics, and the quarterfinals of the Australian Open (2008) and US Open (2005, 2006), as well as being the American number one. He was a key performer for the United States 2007 Davis Cup championship team, going 2–0 in the championship tie vs. Russia at second singles.
Samuel L. Jackson is an American actor, film producer and ranked the highest grossing box office star in film history. A graduate of Morehouse College in 1972, Jackson performed skits about racial inequality with a theatre company. He moved to New York City where his friendship with Spike Lee helped land him his first movie roles. In 1994, he was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in Pulp Fiction. Jackson has appeared in more than 100 films, and received critical and commercial acclaim for more than two decades.
Nick Jonas is an American singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. Jonas began acting at age seven, and released his debut single in 2002. He formed a band with his older brothers, Joe and Kevin - the Jonas Brothers. The group released a solo album in 2006 and through 2010, were one of the most popular bands in the world. In 2013, after the band had parted ways, Jonas returned to a prolific solo career.
Greg Kinnear is an American actor and television personality. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role in As Good as It Gets. Kinnear has appeared in many popular films, including Heaven is for Real, Sabrina, We Were Soldiers, Stuck on You, Little Miss Sunshine, Someone Like You, Robots, Invincible and Green Zone, The Last Song and television roles, such as Friends, Talk Soup, The Kennedys, Modern Family and Rake.
John McEnroe is a retired American tennis player, who is considered among the greatest in the history of the sport. He has won seven Grand Slam single and nine doubles titles. McEnroe attained the number one ranking in both singles and doubles, finishing his career with 77 singles and doubles titles. It remains the highest combined men’s winning total of the Open Era. McEnroe was a member of five winning Davis Cup teams and later served as Captain. He is a sports commentator for the BBC at Wimbledon.
Michael Phelps is a retired competitive swimmer who became the most successful and decorated Olympian of all time by earning 28 medals, which include 23 golds. Phelps’ remarkable run covers four Olympic Games beginning in 2004. He announced his retirement following the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. After the 2008 Summer Olympics, Phelps launched the Michael Phelps Foundation, which focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles.
Dr. Condoleezza Rice is a former United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, positions she held during the administration of President George W. Bush. She is the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a professor of political science at the university. In 2012, Dr. Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore became the first two women members of Augusta National Golf Club.
Kurt Russell is an Emmy and Golden Globes-nominated actor. He began acting on television for the western series, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1963–64). In the late 1960s, he signed a 10-year contract with The Walt Disney Company where, according to Robert Osborne, he became the studio's top star of the 1970s. Kurt’s portrayal of U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks in the 2004 film Miracle, won widespread acclaim.
Kelly Slater is an American professional surfer. He has been crowned World Surf League Champion a record 11 times, including five consecutive titles in 1994–98. He is the youngest (at age 20) and the oldest (at age 39) to win the title. Upon winning his fifth world title in 1997, Kelly passed Australian surfer Mark Richards to become the most successful champion in the history of the sport.
Luke Wilson is one of America’s most popular actors. He is perhaps best recognized for his comedic roles in the films “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Legally Blonde,” “Old School” and “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” He is the youngest brother of actors Andrew and Owen Wilson, the latter who recruited him for his first film, “Bottle Rocket” in 1996.