The Ryder Cup gets underway later this month and the highly-anticipated team announcements have been made.
Team Europe and Team USA will be going head-to-head in the 44th edition of the competition at the Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome.
Europe captain Luke Donald has selected a mix of superstars and newcomers with Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland highlighting the line-up.
Ludvig Aberg was the story of the team announcements with the 23-year-old being chosen despite only turning professional this summer.
As for the USA, captain Zach Johnson boasts a team led by World No.1 Scottie Scheffler alongside recent major winners Wyndham Clark and Brian Harman.
Both teams are littered with the world’s best players so talkSPORT.com has taken a deeper look into this year’s Ryder Cup stars…
Jon Rahm – Spain (Automatic Qualifier)
Age: 28, Caps: 2 (2018, 2021), Record: Won 4 Lost 3 Halved 1 – Majors: 2, World Ranking: 3
Won three of his first five events of the year and then added his second major title in the Masters in April, also finishing tied second in the Open Championship. Won just one of his three matches in Paris but it was a vital one, beating Tiger Woods in the singles. Europe’s stand-out performer at Whistling Straits in 2021 with three-and-a-half points from five matches.
Viktor Hovland – Norway (Automatic Qualifier)
Age: 25, Caps: 1 (2021), Record: Won 0 Lost 3 Halved 2 – Majors: 0, World Ranking: 4
Earned just a point from five matches at Whistling Straits and will be expected to deliver much more in Rome after ending the season with back-to-back wins in the BMW Championship and Tour Championship to claim the FedEx Cup title. Partnered three different players in 2021, giving Donald either welcome flexibility or a selection headache.
Rory McIlroy – Northern Ireland (Automatic Qualifier)
Age: 34, Caps: 6 (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2021), Record: Won 12 Lost 12 Halved 4 – Majors: 4, World Ranking: 2
Was in tears after winning his singles at Whistling Straits as he felt he had let the side down by suffering three heavy defeats over the first two days. Produced a brilliant birdie-birdie finish to win the Scottish Open in July and ended the PGA Tour season with 10 consecutive top-10 finishes.
Tyrrell Hatton – England (Automatic Qualifier)
Age: 31, Caps: 2 (2018, 2021), Record: Won 2 Lost 4 Halved 1 – Majors: 0, World Ranking: 13
Without a win since January 2021, but qualified via the World Points list after a consistent season which included a runners-up finish in the Players Championship, nine top 10s and just one missed cut. Played four matches at Whistling Straits but his caddie’s fitness following a knee operation could be a factor at a hilly venue in Rome.
Matt Fitzpatrick – England (Automatic Qualifier)
Age: 29, Caps: 2 (2016, 2021), Record: Won 0 Lost 5 Halved 0 – Majors: 1, World Ranking: 8
Has a miserable record in the Ryder Cup to date, sitting out the opening day at Hazeltine and then losing his foursomes match with Henrik Stenson before being sent out last in the singles and losing to 2023 US captain Johnson. Also lost all three matches at Whistling Straits but won the US Open in 2022 and will surely be picked for a fourballs session this time around.
Robert MacIntyre – Scotland (Automatic Qualifier)
Age: 27, Caps: 0 – Majors: 0, World Ranking: 54
Won the Italian Open at host venue Marco Simone last September and solidified his position with second in the Scottish Open, where he made a stunning birdie on the last before being denied by McIlroy. Fourth in the penultimate qualifying event after playing with Donald the first two days.
Tommy Fleetwood – England (Captain’s Picks)
Age: 32, Caps: 2 (2018, 2021), Record: Won 4, Lost 2, Halved 2 – Majors: 0, World Ranking: 14
Made his debut in 2018 and partnered Francesco Molinari to four wins, three of them against an American pairing containing Tiger Woods. Without Molinari alongside, lost one and halved two of his matches in Wisconsin. Won his second Nedbank Golf Challenge last November.
Justin Rose – England (Captain’s Picks)
Age: 43, Caps: 5 (2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018), Record: Won 13 Lost 8 Halved 2 – Majors: 1, World Ranking: 34
The former US Open champion was overlooked for a wild card in 2021 but ended a four-year victory drought on the PGA Tour in February’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Previously formed a strong partnership with Stenson, whose switch to LIV Golf cost him the captaincy of the side for Rome.
Shane Lowry – Ireland (Captain’s Picks)
Age: 36, Caps: 1 (2021), Record: Won 1 Lost 2 Halved 0 – Majors: 1, World Ranking: 37
Went into the last event in the final automatic qualifying place in 2021 but was pushed out by Bernd Wiesberger and had to rely on a wild card. Won the first qualifying event, the 2022 BMW Championship, this time around but still required a pick after recording just one top-10 finish in 2023.
Sepp Straka – Austria (Captain’s Picks)
Age: 30, Caps: 0 – Majors: 0, World Ranking: 23
The second Austrian to play in the Ryder Cup after Wiesberger, Straka won his second PGA Tour title in July and followed it a fortnight later with a tie for second in the Open. Also finished seventh in the US PGA Championship and was part of the victorious Continental Europe side in January’s Hero Cup.
Ludvig Aberg – Sweden (Captain’s Picks)
Age: 23, Caps: 0 – Majors: 0, World Ranking: 90
Former world number one amateur who finished first in the PGA Tour University rankings to earn his card and only turned professional in June. Shot 65 and 67 alongside Donald in the first two rounds of the Rocket Mortgage Classic and won the final qualifying event in Switzerland with a closing 64. He is also one of the longest drivers in the game currently.
Nicolai Hojgaard – Denmark (Captain’s Picks)
Age: 22, Caps: 0 – Majors: 0, World Ranking: 78
Finished 16th on the World Points list and just 25th on the European list, but won the first Italian Open at Marco Simone in September 2021 and was fifth in the same event this year. Finished third and fifth in the final two qualifying events and is ranked second in scoring average and strokes gained off the tee.
Scottie Scheffler (Automatic Qualifier)
Age: 27, Caps: 1 (2021), Record: Won 2 Lost 0 Halved 1 – Majors: 1, World Ranking: 1
Two years after needing a wild card and being the lowest-ranked player on the US team without a PGA Tour win to his name, Scheffler will travel to Rome as the world number one and former Masters champion. Won twice, including the Players Championship, in a remarkably consistent season and was unbeaten in three matches at Whistling Straits.
Wyndham Clark (Automatic Qualifier)
Age: 29, Caps: 0 – Majors: 1, World Ranking: 10
Won his first PGA Tour title in May and followed up a month later by winning the US Open at Los Angeles Country Club, holding off Rory McIlroy to win by a single shot. Played in the 2014 Palmer Cup at Walton Heath, halving two matches and losing the other two, one of which was a singles defeat to Rahm.
Brian Harman (Automatic Qualifier)
Age: 36, Caps: 0 – Majors: 1, World Ranking: 9
The left-hander had not tasted victory for six years before dominating the weather-battered Open Championship at Royal Liverpool to land his first major title by six shots. Will make his Ryder Cup debut in Rome but was on the winning Walker Cup team in both 2005 and 2009.
Patrick Cantlay (Automatic Qualifier)
Age: 31, Caps: 1 (2021), Record: Won 3 Lost 0 Halved 1 – Majors: 0, World Ranking: 5
Earned three-and-a-half points from four matches on his debut in 2021, winning both matches alongside good friend Xander Schauffele and then beating Lowry in the singles. Widely blamed for what Brooks Koepka labelled the ‘brutally slow’ pace of play in the final round of the Masters.
Max Homa (Automatic Qualifier)
Age: 32, Caps: 0 – Majors: 0, World Ranking: 7
Won his sixth PGA Tour title at Torrey Pines in January and recorded a first major top-10 finish in the Open Championship in July. Went into the final qualifying event in the last automatic place and finished in a tie for fifth to make sure of his spot.
Xander Schauffele (Automatic Qualifier)
Age: 29, Caps: 1 (2021) Record: Won 3 Lost 1 Halved 0 – Majors: 0, World Ranking: 6
Won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics after getting up and down for par on the 72nd hole to win by one. Last win came in the 2022 Scottish Open, but was eighth in the last qualifying event to move from seventh to sixth in the standings.
Collin Morikawa (Captain’s Picks)
Age: 26, Caps: 1, Record: Won 3 Lost 0 Halved 1 – Majors: 2, World Ranking: 19
Became the first player to capture two different majors on the first attempt with his victories in the 2020 PGA Championship and 2021 Open. Unbeaten on his Ryder Cup debut at Whistling Straits, winning three matches alongside Dustin Johnson and halving his singles with Hovland.
Brooks Koepka (Captain’s Picks)
Age: 33, Caps: 3 (2016, 2018, 2021), Record: Won 6 Lost 5 Halved 1 – Majors: 5, World Ranking: 15
Second in the Masters and won his fifth major title in the PGA Championship to seemingly seal his place on the team, but fell from fifth to seventh on the standings in the final qualifying event. Earned two points from four matches at Whistling Straits two years ago. Has won twice on the LIV Golf Tour in the past year.
Justin Thomas (Captain’s Picks)
Age: 30 , Caps: 2 (2018, 2021), Record: Won 6 Lost 2 Halved 1 – Majors: 2, World Ranking: 25
Won four points from five matches on his debut, with only the star European pairing of Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari able to get the better of Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Thomas also beat McIlroy in the opening singles. Won his second PGA title last year but failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup play-offs this season.
Jordan Spieth (Captain’s Picks)
Age: 30, Caps: 4 (2014, 2016, 2018, 2021), Record: Won 8 Lost 7 Halved 3 – Majors: 3, World Ranking: 12
Won two-and-a-half points from three matches with Patrick Reed in 2014 and the same from their four together in 2016, but partnered Thomas – much to Reed’s unhappiness – in Paris and claimed three wins from four matches before losing 5&4 to Thorbjorn Olesen in the singles.
Sam Burns (Captain’s Picks)
Age 27, Caps 0 – Majors: 0, World Ranking: 20
Halved two and lost his other three matches in the 2022 Presidents Cup, but won his fifth PGA Tour title in the WGC Match Play in March, beating good friend Scheffler in the semi-finals and Cameron Young in the final.
Rickie Fowler (Captain’s Picks)
Age: 34, Caps 4 (2010, 2014, 2016, 2018), Record: Won 3 Lost 7 Halved 5 – Majors: 0, World Ranking: 26
Failed to win a match on either of his first two appearances and managed just one win from four matches in Paris in 2018. Ended more than four years without a victory in the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July and started the US Open with a record-equalling 62, but finished fifth after a closing 75.