Vice Captain: Luke Donald
Following the news that Luke Donald will take up the role of vice captain for a second successive match when he joins Padraig Harrington’s backroom team at Whistling Straits, we look back at the Englishman’s incredible Ryder Cup record.
The former World Number One has featured four times for Europe as a player and once as vice captain - and has been on the winning side on all five occasions.
Of the 10.5 points won from his 15 matches as a player, arguably the most crucial point came in his most recent appearance in 2012.
With the United States leading 10-6 going into the final day, the Englishman defeated Bubba Watson 2&1 in the opening singles match to get the ball rolling on the famous comeback that became known as the Miracle at Medinah.
Donald made his Ryder Cup debut eight years previously in another famous win on US soil, as Europe romped to their most emphatic victory at Oakland Hills.
One of Captain Bernhard Langer’s wild card selections in 2004, Donald teamed up with Paul McGinley to secure his first point in the opening fourballs, before forming what would prove to be a formidable partnership with Sergio Garcia to secure two further points in the two foursomes sessions as Langer guided Europe to a record-breaking 18.5-9.5 victory.
Two years later at the K Club in Ireland, Donald resumed his partnership with Garcia, picking up two points in the foursomes over the first two days before defeating Chad Campbell in the Singles to play a crucial role in making it back-to-back 18.5-9.5 wins for Ian Woosnam’s Team Europe.
After missing the 2008 contest through injury, Donald was back in the side in 2010 as one of Colin Montgomerie’s captain’s picks. He roared back into action - picking up three points from a possible four - including teaming up with countryman Lee Westwood to record an impressive 6&5 foursomes win over Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods.
His win over Jim Furyk in the singles helped Europe to a narrow 14.5-13.5 win, as bad weather forced the event into a Monday finish for the first time.
His most recent Ryder Cup appearance as a player is the stuff of legend. With José María Olazábal’s side looking to be heading for defeat, Donald and Garcia helped to stem the tide in the day two fourballs, defeating Woods and Striker 1 up.
His point against Watson in Sunday’s opening Singles match set the tone for what would be a tidal wave of European blue, as Donald and his team mates turned a four point deficit into a 14.5-13.5 win and sealed the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history.
Donald carried his winning ways into his first stint as a vice captain, joining Padraig Harrington, Robert Karlsson, Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood in Thomas Bjørn’s backroom team at Le Golf National in 2018.
He will once again form part of Team Europe’s backroom team as they look to win on American soil for the first time since Donald’s heroic exploits at Medinah eight years ago.