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Ryder Cup capsules: Meet the European team

The European Ryder Cup team features four first-time participants as it tries to win back the cup after an underwhelming performance in 2021.

This year’s Ryder Cup will be held at Marco Simone in Rome, Italy, after being contested at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in 2021, when the U.S. won, 19-9. The U.S. hasn’t won on foreign soil in 30 years, and the Europeans hope to extend that drought by winning its 12th Ryder Cup.

Here is a closer look at the home team with videos detailing each player’s pertinent information and Ryder Cup credentials (click here for the U.S. team capsules):

Rory McIlroy

Ryder Cup Spotlight: Rory McIlroy

One of the faces of golf, Rory McIlroy will head to Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome for the 2023 Ryder Cup — trying to take the victory home for Team Europe in his seventh event.

The lowdown: The Northern Irishman is the highest-ranked player on the European team (ranked No. 2 in the world) and won the Scottish Open on Tour last season, along with a win in Dubai on the DP World Tour. Making his seventh Ryder Cup appearance, McIlroy heads to Rome having just broken the Tour record for average driving distance in a season at 326.3 yards.

Jon Rahm

Ryder Cup Spotlight: Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm, the relentless “proverbial freight train,” is bringing his elite driving ability to Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome for the 2023 Ryder Cup with Team Europe.

The lowdown: The Spaniard sits one spot below McIlroy in the world rankings after a year in which he won four times on Tour, including the Masters for his second major triumph. He also finished T-2 at The Open and was third on Tour in scoring average (69.03).

Viktor Hovland

Ryder Cup Spotlight: Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland and his ‘stellar’ game will head to Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome to represent Team Europe in the 2023 Ryder Cup.

The lowdown: The Norwegian comes to Marco Simone as one of the world’s hottest players. After winning the Memorial in June, he claimed the BMW Championship last month with a course-record 61 in the final round en route to winning the FedExCup title. Early in his career, he was one of the worst short games players on Tour; however, he finished this past season inside the top 100 on Tour in Strokes Gained: Around the Greens, and his improvement has translated into a lethal skill set.

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Ryder Cup Spotlight: Matt Fitzpatrick

Matt Fitzpatrick’s consistency, poise under pressure and reputation as a closer will help Team Europe in what figures to be a tightly contested 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome.

The lowdown: The Englishman followed up a 2022 season in which he won the U.S. Open by emerging victorious at the RBC Heritage and making the Tour Championship. He also finished 25th on Tour in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, 19th in SG: Total and 13th in SG: Putting en route to notching his third straight Ryder Cup berth.

Tyrrell Hatton

Ryder Cup Spotlight: Tyrrell Hatton

Tyrrell Hatton enters his third Ryder Cup as one of the best ball-strikers in the field, as he tries to help Team Europe win on its home soil at Rome’s Marco Simone Golf & Country Club.

The lowdown: Though the Englishman didn’t claim his first win on Tour since 2020, he had an impressive campaign that included seven top-10s, including a runner-up at The Players Championship, and one missed cut in 21 starts. Plus, he was top 10 on Tour in SG: Putting and Total.

Tommy Fleetwood

Ryder Cup Spotlight: Tommy Fleetwood

Tommy Fleetwood was a part of the European team that lost the last Ryder Cup, and he’s motivated to help take it back in his third appearance.

The lowdown: If Nick Taylor didn’t make a 72-foot eagle putt on the fourth playoff hole of the RBC Canadian Open, Fleetwood might have walked away with his maiden Tour win. However, despite the excruciating playoff defeat, Fleetwood had a torrid summer where he posted six top-10s in his final eight starts of the season, making him an easy choice for Luke Donald to select him as captain’s pick.

Sepp Straka

Ryder Cup Spotlight: Sepp Straka

Sepp Straka takes his good form from the summer into his first Ryder Cup appearance for Team Europe.

The lowdown: With a chance at the 13th sub-60 round in Tour history, Straka rinsed his approach shot on the 72nd hole — but still left the John Deere Classic with a noble consolation prize: his second Tour win. He followed that up with a T-2 at The Open, his second runner-up of the season and one of two top-10s in a major this year (T-7 at the PGA Championship).

Justin Rose

Ryder Cup Spotlight: Justin Rose

Entering his sixth Ryder Cup, Justin Rose is ready to help his European teammates however he can in pursuit of something greater than any individual player.

The lowdown: At the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the 2013 U.S. Open champion ended a four-year winless drought on Tour — and that helped him back onto the European Ryder Cup after an absence in 2021. When he last teed it up for the Europeans in 2018, he had just won the FedExCup as the world No. 1. Five years later, his form might not be as dominant, but he’s still a top 50 player and will be a valued voice in the team room while playing his sixth Ryder Cup.

Shane Lowry

Ryder Cup Spotlight: Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry looks to make the most of his second Ryder Cup appearance for Team Europe.

The lowdown: During his first Ryder Cup in 2021, the Irishman was the animated spirit of the European squad. And his personality will again be on display in the biennial matches, but this time, with the home crowd behind him. His play, though, took a dip this year, as the 2019 Open champion failed to make the FedExCup playoffs for the first time since 2018. But considering his bold personality, it would have been hard for Donald to leave Lowry off the team.

Robert MacIntyre

Ryder Cup Spotlight: Robert MacIntyre

Robert MacIntyre is looking to add a big-time Ryder Cup debut to his list of golf accomplishments.

The lowdown: The Scot said he had one goal this year — to make his first Ryder Cup team. And after nabbing the final automatic qualifying spot, that goal is fulfilled. MacIntyre nearly won his home event — the Scottish Open — with a final-round 64. McIlroy, however, overtook MacIntyre by a stroke with a birdie-birdie finish. But now, he and McIlroy are Ryder Cup teammates on a course (Marco Simone) where MacIntyre won the 2022 Italian Open in a playoff against Fitzpatrick.

Nicolai Hojgaard

Ryder Cup Spotlight: Nicolai Hojgaard

Nicolai Hojgaard looks to translate his strong play as of late into a memorable first appearance for Team Europe at the 2023 Ryder Cup.

The lowdown: The 2021 Italian Open winner at Marco Simone was once considered one of the future stalwarts of the European Ryder Cup team — and now his time has come. He finished runner-up at the Corales Puntacana Championship and then notched Special Temporary Status a week later at the Valero Texas Open. He also had seven top-10s on the DP World Tour en route to joining Donald’s squad.

Ludvig Aberg

Ryder Cup Spotlight: Ludvig Aberg

Ludvig Aberg, one golf’s brightest young stars, will look to make the most of his Ryder Cup debut for Team Europe.

The lowdown: Last but not least. After being the nation’s top collegiate player at Texas Tech, the Swede turned pro in June and wasted no time showcasing his talent with four top-25s, including a T-4 at the John Deere Classic. He was on the brink of a Ryder Cup nod, but he made Donald’s decision much easier when he won the DP World Tour’s European Masters by reeling off four straight birdies on the back nine. Now, Aberg will be the first player ever to tee it up in a Ryder Cup before playing in his first major championship.

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