Europe's post-Brexit Ryder Cup team

Europe's post-Brexit Ryder Cup team
If Brexit affected the Ryder Cup...
(Image credit: Getty Images)

What would Europe's Ryder Cup team look life if a British 'Brexit' referendum vote had implications in relation to the biennial matches?

Europe's post-Brexit Ryder Cup team

As ‘Brexit’ talk intensifies and the referendum on a potential British split from the European Union draws ever closer, it’s prudent to understand the ramifications.

One of those, however, isn’t a return to the pre-1979 days where Great Britain and Ireland took on America in the Ryder Cup. But what if it was?

As per the current standings, what would the GB&I side look like and would it have any chance against the Americans? Similarly, if Continental Europe were to take on the USA, who would make the line-up for Hazeltine?

Let’s find out, using the current points lists… (for the purpose of this exercise, we’re excluding captain’s picks and assuming all 12 players qualify automatically)


Danny Willett Rory McIlroy Chris Wood Matthew Fitzpatrick Justin Rose Andy Sullivan Lee Westwood Graeme McDowell Jamie Donaldson Russell Knox Ross Fisher Lee Slattery

Related: Rory McIlroy swing sequence

Continental Europe

Henrik Stenson Sergio Garcia Rafa Cabrera Bello Victor Dubuisson Soren Kjeldsen Thorbjorn Olesen Kristoffer Broberg Thomas Pieters Rikard Karlberg Martin Kaymer Lucas Bjerregaard Joost Luiten

Currently, they would be taking on…

Jordan Spieth Dustin Johnson Bubba Watson Brandt Snedeker Rickie Fowler Zach Johnson Phil Mickelson Patrick Reed Brooks Koepka Matt Kuchar JB Holmes Charley Hoffman

There’s a lot of talk at the moment that the USA have the much stronger team on paper, but I simply don’t agree. I don’t think it would be a thrashing if the current side took on either Continental Europe or GB&I. Plus, it’s hardly as if any massive names who are likely to get a captain’s pick are missing from that list.

The likes of Jason Dufner, Hunter Mahan, Jim Furyk and Jimmy Walker don’t instil great fear and it’s always difficult to predict how prospective debutants like Justin Thomas and Smylie Kaufman will perform.

When you merge both European sides, it becomes clear how much strength in depth there is. What’s more, it seems there’s going to be an excellent balance between experienced stalwarts and talented newcomers. You’d expect Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell/Lee Westwood/Ian Poulter to make the side, leaving Masters Champion Danny Willett and a whole host of other top players to plug the remaining gaps.

The American side will be strong, of that there’s no doubt, but it looks to me that Europe is in excellent shape heading into the matches at Hazeltine.

Nick Bonfield
Content Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x