Le crunch: How the teams compare


TEAM EUROPE

Players are listed in the order they made the team.

FRANCESCO MOLINARI (35, Italy)

World ranking: 6.

Ryder Cup teams: 2010, 2012.

Ryder Cup record: 0-4-2.

Ryder Cup partners: Edoardo Molinari, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose.

Ryder Cup moment: After a resounding loss to Tiger Woods in 2010 at Celtic Manor, halving the final match at Medinah against Woods that gave Europe the half-point it needed for outright victory.

Career victories: 7.

Majors: British Open (2018).

Outlook: He has yet to win a Ryder Cup match. He also has yet to play on a losing team. Molinari was the hottest player in golf this summer when he won on the European Tour (BMW PGA Championship), PGA Tour (Quicken Loans National) and became Italy’s first major champion at the British Open. With improved putting, he has become a complete player lacking only big power.

JUSTIN ROSE (38, England)

World ranking: 2.

Ryder Cup teams: 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016.

Ryder Cup record: 11-5-2.

Ryder Cup partners: Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer, Francesco Molinari, Henrik Stenson, Chris Wood.

Ryder Cup moment: Making a 45-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole at Medinah that sparked his crucial victory over Phil Mickelson.

Career victories: 20.

Majors: US Open (2013).

Outlook: If he stays at No. 1 going into France, it will be the third time in the last four Ryder Cups that Europe has had the top-ranked player. He has not sat out a match since his debut in 2008 and went unbeaten (3-0-2) the last time the Ryder Cup was in Europe. With his consistency, he has become Europe’s most reliable player.

TYRRELL HATTON (26, England)

World ranking: 26.

Ryder Cup teams: Rookie.

Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0.

Ryder Cup partners: To be determined.

Ryder Cup moment: Picking up his first victory and beginning his rise the week after the 2016 Ryder Cup.

Career victories: 3.

Majors: None.

Outlook: One of six rookies for Europe, the Englishman had a pair of top 10s in the majors this year at the US Open and PGA Championship. Also had a chance to win a World Golf Championship in Mexico.

TOMMY FLEETWOOD (27, England)

World ranking: 12.

Ryder Cup teams: Rookie.

Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0.

Ryder Cup partners: To be determined.

Ryder Cup moment: His son’s first birthday is opening day at the Ryder Cup.

Career victories: 4.

Majors: None.

Outlook: Another Ryder Cup rookie that won’t seem like one because of his rise in the world ranking. Fleetwood has great control of his golf ball and handles big moments well. Closed with a 63 to be runner-up at the US Open. Among his victories is the French Open at Le Golf National in 2017. He won the Race to Dubai on the European Tour last year.

JON RAHM (23, Spain)

World ranking: 7.

Ryder Cup teams: Rookie.

Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0.

Ryder Cup partners: To be determined.

Ryder Cup moment: Being mentioned as a wild-card pick in 2016 three months after he turned pro.

Career victories: 5.

Majors: None.

Outlook: Billed as the next Spaniard hopeful of leaving his mark in the Ryder Cup, and that comes with plenty of passion. Rahm is an imposing figure who plays an attacking style of golf, and while his emotions can lead to bogeys, they also can lead to plenty of birdies.

He already has five victories in just over two years as a pro. Is likely to have Rory McIlroy as a partner.

RORY MCILROY (29, Northern Ireland)

World ranking: 5.

Ryder Cup teams: 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016.

Ryder Cup record: 9-6-4

Ryder Cup partners: Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Andy Sullivan, Thomas Pieters.

Ryder Cup moment: Showing up with minutes to spare for his singles match at Medinah, and with a police escort, because he forgot Chicago was in the central time zone. And then he beat Keegan Bradley.

Career victories: 22.

Majors: US Open (2011), British Open (2014), PGA Championship (2012, 2014).

Outlook: Even as he works to put together all pieces of his game, McIlroy remains one of the most dynamic players on the European Tour side and a voice of experience even before his 30th birthday.

He played with two rookies at Hazeltine, Andy Sullivan and Thomas Pieters, and might get another one in Rahm.

Ended 18 months without a victory at Bay Hill with an explosive finish.

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ALEX NOREN (36, Sweden)

World ranking: 15.

Ryder Cup teams: Rookie.

Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0.

Ryder Cup partners: To be determined.

Ryder Cup moment: Winning three of his four tournaments during a Ryder Cup year in 2016 after the matches were played.

Career victories: 10.

Majors: None.

Outlook: One of the hardest workers in Europe, with callouses on his hands to show for it.

Played his college golf at Oklahoma State and has been a late bloomer with five victories since the last Ryder Cup. Noren lost in a play-off at Torrey Pines, and lost in 19 holes in the semi-finals of the Match Play to Kevin Kisner.

THORBJORN OLESEN (28, Denmark)

World ranking: 44.

Ryder Cup teams: Rookie.

Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0.

Ryder Cup partners: To be determined.

Ryder Cup moment: Sealing his spot in the final event to make his first team under Denmark’s first Ryder Cup captain.

Career victories: 6.

Majors: None.

Outlook: The Dane was seen as one of the potential rising stars in Europe, and he could make a name for himself in the Ryder Cup. He found form after winning the Italian Open, finishing second in Germany and third in the World Golf Championship at Firestone. At No. 44, he is the lowest-ranked player at Le Golf National.

PAUL CASEY (41, England)

World ranking: 18.

Ryder Cup teams: 2004, 2006, 2008.

Ryder Cup record: 3-2-4.

Ryder Cup partners: David Howell, Robert Karlsson, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia.

Ryder Cup moment: Making a hole-in-one on the 14th hole in foursomes at The K Club to win the match in 2006.

Career victories: 16.

Majors: None.

Outlook: Casey rejoined the European Tour late last year with the goal of returning to the Ryder Cup, and while he ended an eight-year drought on the PGA Tour by winning the Valspar Championship, he had to rely on a captain’s pick. This will be his first Ryder Cup in 10 years. He was No. 7 in the world when Colin Montgomerie left him off the team in 2010 at Wales.

SERGIO GARCIA (38, Spain)

World ranking: 28.

Ryder Cup teams: 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016.

Ryder Cup record: 19-11-7.

Ryder Cup partners: Jesper Parnevik, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Jose Maria Olazabal, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Paul Casey, Nicolas Colsaerts, Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Ryder Cup moment: Rallying to beat Jim Furyk in a crucial singles match at Medinah.

Career victories: 28.

Majors: Masters (2017).

Outlook: The most prolific member of this European team, Garcia is a wild card in every sense. He hasn’t won this year, and hasn’t come particularly close. He has fallen to No. 28 in the world. Thomas Bjorn referred to him as the heart of the European team. He has played every Ryder Cup except 2010, and at Wales he was a last-minute vice-captain. He missed the cut in every major this year.

IAN POULTER (42, England)

World ranking: 34.

Ryder Cup teams: 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014.

Ryder Cup record: 12-4-2.

Ryder Cup partners: Darren Clarke, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Ross Fisher, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Stephen Gallacher.

Ryder Cup moment: Making birdie on his last five holes of the pivotal fourballs match at Medinah that turned the tide for a European victory.

Career victories: 15.

Majors: None.

Outlook: His career has been defined by the Ryder Cup, with bulging eye balls from his intensity, and a strong record.

Poulter missed in 2016 because of a foot injury, and he didn’t appear to be on the radar this year until his victory in the Houston Open.

He remains the one player no American wants to lose to in a match, which speaks to his value on this team. Nickname is the “Postman” because he always delivers.

HENRIK STENSON (42, Sweden)

World ranking: 24.

Ryder Cup teams: 2006, 2008, 2014, 2016.

Ryder Cup record: 7-7-2.

Ryder Cup partners: David Howell, Pádraig Harrington, Paul Casey, Oliver Wilson, Robert Karlsson, Justin Rose, Matt Fitzpatrick.

Ryder Cup moment: Delivering the cup-clinching point at The K Club with his singles victory over Vaughn Taylor.

Career victories: 19.

Majors: British Open (2016).

Outlook: He hasn’t won in more than a year and had to rely on being a captain’s pick. Stenson and Rose teamed to win all three of their matches at the last Ryder Cup in Europe, but he and Rose lost twice to Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed at Hazeltine.

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TEAM USA

Players are listed in the order they made the team.

BROOKS KOEPKA (28)

World ranking: 3.

Ryder Cup teams: 2016.

Ryder Cup record: 3-1-0.

Ryder Cup partners: Brandt Snedeker, Dustin Johnson.

Ryder Cup moment: Came within inches of holing out with a wedge on the first hole he played in a Ryder Cup.

Career victories: 7.

Majors: US Open (2017, 2018), PGA Championship (2018).

Outlook: Three-time major champion, including back-to-back US Opens and a record performance at the PGA Championship, is enough to get anyone’s attention. He also went 3-1 in his Ryder Cup debut and tends to play his best golf in the biggest events. He’s familiar with Le Golf National from his time on the European Tour.

DUSTIN JOHNSON (34)

World ranking: 1 Ryder Cup teams: 2010, 2012, 2016.

Ryder Cup record: 6-5-0.

Ryder Cup partners: Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar, Brooks Koepka.

Ryder Cup moment: After losing all three team matches in debut at Celtic Manor, had the shortest singles match in beating Martin Kaymer, who a month earlier won the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in a play-off that Johnson famously missed because of grounding his club in a bunker on the last hole.

Career victories: 19.

Majors: US Open (2016).

Outlook: One of the most dominant figures in golf but has a cold putter that’s kept a very good year from being a great one. His power might be negated at Le Golf National. Key will be finding the right putting stroke. Formed an intimidating partnership with Brooks Koepka at the Presidents Cup.

JUSTIN THOMAS (25)

World ranking: 4.

Ryder Cup teams: Rookie.

Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0.

Ryder Cup partners: To be determined.

Ryder Cup moment: High-fiving Phil Mickelson at Valhalla in 2008 during US victory that Thomas attended as a 15-year-old when his father was on the PGA of America board.

Career victories: 9.

Majors: PGA Championship (2017).

Outlook: Made his team debut at the Presidents Cup, and much like Jordan Spieth, now has to learn by experience that Ryder Cup intensity on the road is another matter. He was the only American on the team who played the French Open this summer at Le Golf National.

PATRICK REED (28)

World ranking: 14.

Ryder Cup teams: 2014, 2016.

Ryder Cup record: 6-1-2.

Ryder Cup partners: Jordan Spieth.

Ryder Cup moment: Going toe-to-toe, scream-for-scream with Rory McIlroy in a singles victory at Hazeltine.

Career victories: 6.

Majors: Masters (2018).

Outlook: In two Ryder Cups has been dubbed “Captain America” because of his performance at Gleneagles and Hazeltine. Might not be the best American, but will have as big of a target on his back as anyone.

BUBBA WATSON (39)

World ranking: 13.

Ryder Cup teams: 2010, 2012, 2014.

Ryder Cup record: 3-8-0.

Ryder Cup partners: Jeff Overton, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar.

Ryder Cup moment: Setting a trend at Medinah by asking the crowd for more noise as he was teeing off in 2012.

Career victories: 13.

Majors: Masters (2012, 2014).

Outlook: Has only one top 10 over the last three months and doesn’t have a great Ryder Cup history in the three times he played, including a 0-3 mark at Gleneagles in the last one he played.

Worse yet, had a rough time at the French Open in 2011 when he complained about the crowds and didn’t know the names of historic places, such as the museum that starts with an “L² (Louvre). Crowd is sure to remind him.

JORDAN SPIETH (25)

World ranking: 10.

Ryder Cup teams: 2014, 2016.

Ryder Cup record: 4-3-2.

Ryder Cup partners: Patrick Reed.

Ryder Cup moment: Still trying to win his first singles match.

Career victories: 14.

Majors: Masters (2015), US Open (2015), British Open (2017).

Outlook: Spieth was the only American player who didn’t qualify for the Tour Championship and endured his worst year in five seasons as a pro. He hasn’t won since the British Open last year and struggled with his putting most of the year. It might help to have some of the attention on other players.

RICKIE FOWLER (29)

World ranking: 9.

Ryder Cup teams: 2010, 2014, 2016.

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Ryder Cup record: 2-4-5.

Ryder Cup partners: Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker.

Ryder Cup moment: Coming back from 4 down with four holes to play to earn a halve with Edoardo Molinari at Celtic Manor in 2010.

Career victories: 8.

Majors: None.

Outlook: Fowler hasn’t won this year and his Ryder Cup record is hard to figure out. He didn’t earn his first victory until paired with Phil Mickelson at Hazeltine, and then he beat Justin Rose in singles at the end of the week. A great team player.

WEBB SIMPSON (33)

World ranking: 17.

Ryder Cup teams: 2012, 2014.

Ryder Cup record: 2-3-1.

Ryder Cup partners: Bubba Watson.

Ryder Cup moment: Hitting a shank in Sunday singles against Ian Poulter at Medinah and still taking him 18 holes in a loss.

Career victories: 5.

Majors: US Open (2012).

Outlook: Simpson was the final captain’s pick in 2014 when he lobbied Tom Watson, and then played only twice. He lost badly in his one team match and halved with Ian Poulter. However, has been on good form in recent months.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU (24)

World ranking: 8.

Ryder Cup teams: Rookie.

Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0.

Ryder Cup partners: To be determined.

Ryder Cup moment: Going to the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine as a spectator to see what it was like.

Career victories: 4.

Majors: None.

Outlook: Has a reputation as the “Mad Scientist,” but he has figured something out by winning three times this year, all against some of the strongest fields. Tiger Woods has taken him under his wing and is likely to play with DeChambeau. He at least has Walker Cup experience, going 2-0-1 in 2015 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

PHIL MICKELSON (48)

World ranking: 25.

Ryder Cup teams: 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016.

Ryder Cup record: 18-20-7.

Ryder Cup partners: Corey Pavin, Jay Haas, Davis Love III, Tom Lehman, David Duval, Jim Furyk, David Toms, Tiger Woods, Chris DiMarco, Anthony Kim, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, Matt Kuchar.

Ryder Cup moment: In a match featuring 19 birdies, with both players posting 63 in medal play, earning a halve with Garcia at Hazeltine.

Career victories: 46.

Majors: Masters (2004, 2006, 2010), British Open (2013), PGA Championship (2005).

Outlook: Sets a Ryder Cup record by playing for the 12th time, and this might be the greatest testament to his career. This was the first time, at 48, that he required a captain’s pick. Won a World Golf Championship this year to end nearly five years without a victory. Usually delivers at team events, and his value can’t be overstated.

TIGER WOODS (42)

World ranking: 21.

Ryder Cup teams: 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2012.

Ryder Cup record: 13-17-3.

Ryder Cup partners: Mark O’Meara, Justin Leonard, Tom Lehman, David Duval, Steve Pate, Paul Azinger, Mark Calcavecchia, Davis Love III, Chris Riley, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker.

Ryder Cup moment: The look on his face when Mickelson hit a tee shot next to a fence in the second losing match of their partnership in 2004 at Oakland Hills.

Career victories: 90.

Majors: Masters (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005), US Open (2000, 2002, 2008), British Open (2000, 2005, 2006), PGA Championship (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007).

Outlook: Woods was appointed a vice captain in February when he was coming off back surgery and finished 11th in the standings, making him an easy choice as a pick. He has rarely shined in the Ryder Cup, but his presence is big. He was a vice captain in the last two US team events and will be looked upon as one of the leaders on the team.

TONY FINAU (29)

World ranking: 16.

Ryder Cup teams: Rookie.

Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0.

Ryder Cup partners: To be determined.

Ryder Cup moment: Being invited on a scouting trip to Le Golf National this summer.

Career victories: 1.

Majors: None.

Outlook: His year began with a grotesque ankle injury during the Par 3 Tournament at the Masters, and he still tied for 10th. Played some of his best golf in the biggest events, and his confidence is soaring for a guy with only one PGA Tour victory. Set the PGA Championship record with 10 birdies in one round.



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