Sept. 22-28, 2025 Bethpage Black Course, Farmingdale, NY
2023 Ryder Cup - Singles Matches
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Team Europe's victorious players have called for "two more years" from Captain Luke Donald after wresting the Ryder Cup back from the United States in emphatic style.

Amid euphoric scenes as Donald gave a speech on the winners' podium after the 16½-11½ victory, the chant rang out from his troops, who have been heaping praise on their leader all week.

It was all an awfully long way from last July, when originally appointed skipper Henrik Stenson left his post, with Donald drafted in just over a week later.

His first job was to retain two Vice Captains in victorious 2018 leader Thomas Bjørn and stats guru Edoardo Molinari, and according to both his team and general consensus, he has not put a foot wrong since that first day.

"I think everyone sitting here would be very happy to have him again," said Rory McIlroy - who under Donald had his best Ryder Cup with four points.

"Quiet confidence is what Luke has been this week. He doesn't have to say many words. The words that he does say are very, very impactful and he's been amazing this week."

The four-time Major winner was not the only one to hail Donald.

"Luke is amazing," said Tommy Fleetwood. "We're all so proud of him, from when this whole process started, he's been so, so good.

"The way he's been this week has been phenomenal. He's honestly so high up in all of our... we just look at Luke on another level.

I think everyone sitting here would be very happy to have him again
— Rory McIlroy

"He's been amazing and I'm so happy that we could all get it done for him."

While building a Ryder Cup team is very much a long-term process, Donald's work in the immediate build-up to the biennial spectacular has come in for particular praise.

"It started probably a year ago when Luke took the captaincy," added McIlroy. "The team started to take shape and we did that practice trip here a couple of weeks ago and everyone would probably agree with me but we sat around the fire pit that night and we chatted and we got to know each other really well.

"And that was an amazing experience. I got to know things about these guys that... I thought I knew them for a long time but I got to know something different about them."

The additions of Miracle of Medinah trio Nicolas Colsaerts, José María Olazábal and Francesco Molinari to his backroom team also proved inspired decisions by Donald, as did his plans in Ryder Cup week.

It was Donald who decided - for the first time in 30 years on European soil - to play foursomes before four-balls on Friday and Saturday.

2023 Ryder Cup - Partite di singolare
ROMA, ITALIA - 1° OTTOBRE: Il capitano del Team Europe Luke Donald con i suoi giocatori si mettono in posa con il trofeo della Ryder Cup dopo la vittoria per 16 punti e mezzo a 11 punti e mezzo dopo le partite di singolare della domenica della Ryder Cup 2023 al Marco Simone Golf Club il 1° ottobre, 2023 a Roma. (Foto di Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Photo Credit: Getty Images

"We feel like as a team, statistically, we are stronger in foursomes within our team than we would be in four-balls," he said. "Why not get off to a fast start? That's it."

Europe won the opening foursomes session 4-0 and the session on Saturday 3-1 to match the biggest foursomes margin of victory since Europe entered the Ryder Cup in 1979.

And that was aided by a practice strategy initiated by Donald - coupled with a few friendly wagers.

"That was something we just added into the practice rounds this week," Fleetwood said on Friday.

"Everybody that was playing together, we just played some three-hole matches. There's statistics to say the guys that go up early, there's a large percentage of wins.

"Today, it was sort of I guess the perfect execution of a plan where everybody got going early and nobody let up. So it was great to see like the work that Luke and the Vice Captains and the players have put in and just have it pay off."

2023 Ryder Cup - Singles Matches
ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 01: Rory McIlroy of Team Europe celebrates winning his match 3&1 with Luke Donald, Captain of Team Europe on the 17th green during the Sunday singles matches of the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club on October 01, 2023 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Donald will go to bed this evening with a new entry on his CV that already has him as a World Number One and Number One on both sides of the Atlantic: winning Ryder Cup Captain.

"This is the best," he said when asked to rank where Sunday October 1, 2023 will stand on his list of achievements.

Europe has not had a Captain for more than one Ryder Cup since Bernard Gallacher led for the third time in 1995 but before then, it was commonplace.

So would he like to do it again?

"I haven't been asked yet," was his response when asked in the post-win press conference.

There would be few complaints in the team room if the question came and the answer wasn’t yes.

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