One Year To The Ryder Cup - What Will Team Europe Look Like?

With a year to go, it's still up in the air as to how Team Europe will look in Rome

Rory McIlroy and Rasmus Hojgaard
Rasmus Hojgaard and Rory McIlroy at this week's Dunhill Links
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With a year to go until the Ryder Cup, things couldn't be more up in the air with Luke Donald likely still clueless as to how his side will look in Rome.

He knows that he'll have the powerhouses of Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm headlining the team, with fellow Major champions Matt Fitzpatrick and Shane Lowry likely joined by Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton. But from there, who knows.

Rory McIlroy's friendships with former Ryder Cup partners Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter seem to be in tatters, so it's looking more and more unlikely that any of the LIV Golf players will be a feature on the side - even if they're allowed. “I have said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times, I don’t think any of those guys should be on the Ryder Cup team," McIlroy said at the Italian Open.

A court case in February will determine whether the LIV rebels can continue competing on the DP World Tour and therefore be eligible for the match at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club. If the LIV players are successful, it means the Ryder Cup is open to Garcia, Poulter, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, Sam Horsfield and Laurie Canter.

All of the players mentioned above might seem unlikely additions to the side, especially via a wildcard pick given McIlroy's public comments, but a successful court case followed by a season of form could put them into the fray. All are capable of winning DP World Tour titles and even Majors on their day.

If the court case ends the Ryder Cup futures of the LIV players, it means that Europe's 12 will be looking much different to in previous editions where the likes of Poulter, Garcia, Westwood, Casey and Stenson have been fixtures of the side. 

"I think we were in need of a rebuild, anyway," McIlroy said. "It was sort of, we did well with the same guys for a very long time but again as I just said, everything comes to an end at some point. I think Whistling Straits is a good sort of demarcation, I guess.

“That’s all behind us. We have got a core group of guys but let’s build on that again, and instead of filling those three or four spots with older veterans, let’s blood some rookies and let’s get them in and build towards the future. I think that’s important.”

If McIlroy is right and gets his way, it means that Europe's final four or five spots on the team could be filled by the likes of Robert MacIntyre, Sepp Straka, Nicolai and Rasmus Hojgaard, Adrian Meronk, Adri Arnaus and Guido Migliozzi.

The golfing world has been turned upside down this year, and the Ryder Cup too. Which 12 men will be wearing the blue and yellow for Team Europe in Rome next year? Who knows.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5