Meet The 12 Players In Luke Donald's European Ryder Cup Team

The 12 players who will compete for Team Europe in the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone

Luke Donald at the announcement of his Ryder Cup wildcards
Luke Donald will lead the team of 12 at Marco Simone
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2023 Ryder Cup takes place at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome in Italy between Friday 29 September and Sunday 1 October.

The US head into the match as holders, having beaten Europe 19-9 at Whistling Straits two years ago.

However, Team Europe has not lost a home match since 1993 when Tom Watson’s USA edged out Bernard Gallacher’s team 15-13 at The Belfry.

Here are the 12 players who will take on the challenge of reclaiming the Ryder Cup from the US.

Team Europe Players List

  • Rory McIlroy
  • Jon Rahm
  • Robert MacIntyre
  • Viktor Hovland
  • Tyrrell Hatton
  • Matt Fitzpatrick
  • Tommy Fleetwood
  • Shane Lowry
  • Sepp Straka
  • Justin Rose
  • Nicolai Hojgaard
  • Ludvig Aberg

Team Europe Player Profiles

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy at the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

Rory McIlroy will play in his seventh Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 34-year-old has played in six successive Ryder Cups since making his debut in 2010 and has amassed 14 points from a 12-12-4 record.

The four-time Major winner has had most success in singles matches, with victories against Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele. He has been on the winning team in four of his six appearances to date.

McIlroy qualified automatically for the 2023 edition after a season where he has been a fixture in the top three of the world rankings.

Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm at the Tour Championship at East Lake

Jon Rahm is one of the highest-profile players in the team

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Rahm makes his third successive appearance in the Ryder Cup after qualifying automatically. He made his Ryder Cup debut in 2018, and has a 4-3-1 scoring record to date.

The Spaniard goes into the match during a year that brought his second Major title, The Masters, among several other wins. He has also had two spells at World No.1 during the year and is sure to be a key asset in Luke Donald’s team.

Among Rahm’s Ryder Cup highlights so far was his first point five years ago, when he beat Tiger Woods 2&1 in his singles match, helping Europe to victory at Le Golf National in France.

Robert MacIntyre

Robert MacIntyre takes a shot at the Omega European Masters

Robert MacIntyre qualified automatically for the match

(Image credit: Getty Images)

MacIntyre claimed the final automatic qualifying spot on the European points list to guarantee his maiden Ryder Cup appearance. 

The Scot put down an impressive marker for his Ryder Cup credentials early on with a win in the 2022 Italian Open at the venue for this year's match. 

While he hasn't added to that victory, he produced some more excellent performances during the qualifying period, including runner-up at the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open, where he pushed Rory McIlroy all the way. 

Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland at the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

Viktor Hovland will make his second Ryder Cup appearance

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hovland became the first-ever Norwegian to play in the Ryder Cup in the 2021 defeat to the USA, and was the third player to qualify automatically for Luke Donald’s team following a year that has seen him claim two top-10 finishes in Majors and victory in The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

Hovland’s scoring record in the Ryder Cup is currently 0-3-2.

Tyrrell Hatton

Tyrrell Hatton takes a shot at the Tour Championship at East Lake

Tyrrell Hatton will play in his third match

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This will be Hatton's third successive Ryder Cup, having played on the victorious European team in 2018 and tasting defeat for the first time at Whistling Straits in 2021. 

Hatton qualified automatically via the world points list following an impressive season on the PGA Tour, which included runner-up at The Players Championship and a T8 at the Tour Championship. 

With an overall record of 2-4-1 in the match, Hatton will be confident of building on that.

Matt Fitzpatrick

Matt Fitzpatrick in the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine

Matt Fitzpatrick has yet to win a Ryder Cup match

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Fitzpatrick is another automatic qualifier via the world points list, and will make his third appearance in the match. After making his debut in the 2016 defeat to the US at Hazeltine, Fitzpatrick was once again on the losing side in 2021. 

His record is also not impressive, at 0-5-0 across the two matches. However, much has changed since Fitzpatrick's most recent outing in the match, including his first Major win in the 2022 US Open, and another solid season on the PGA Tour that included a thrilling win in the RBC Heritage

Tommy Fleetwood

Tommy Fleetwood lines up a putt at the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits

Tommy Fleetwood was one of Luke Donald's captain's picks

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The inclusion of Fleetwood among Donald's wildcards didn't surprise anyone, and he is another player who brings vast experience, and some excellent form, to the European team. 

As well as appearing in the last two matches, with an overall record of 4-2-3, Fleetwood has also enjoyed an excellent season on the PGA Tour. He came agonisingly close to claiming his maiden PGA Tour win in the Canadian Open before losing to Nick Taylor in a playoff, and he has had several other top-10 finishes, included a T9 in the Tour Championship at East Lake.

Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry at the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club

Shane Lowry will make his second appearance in the match

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2019 Open champion as another impressive addition to Donald's team as he prepares to make his second Ryder Cup appearance. 

Lowry had a 1-2-1 record in the 2021 match, including victory alongside Hatton in the afternoon fourballs against Tony Finau and Harris English. 

The Irishman's form hasn't been quite as good as it could have been on the PGA Tour this season, but a T5 in the Honda Classic reminded everyone of his talent, and he heads into the match as one of Donald's most experienced players. 

Sepp Straka

Sepp Straka at the Tour Championship at East Lake

Sepp Straka will make his Ryder Cup debut

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Austrian Straka has yet to play in the Ryder Cup, but he was part of the Continental Europe team that won the 2023 Hero Cup, which offered Donald an early chance to assess his options. 

Few would argue Straka deserves his chance on the bigger stage, either, as he comes into it off the back of a PGA Tour season that included a win in the John Deere Classic after narrowly missing out on a 59 and a tie for sixth in the Tour Championship.

Justin Rose

Justin Roes at the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National

Justin Rose brings vast experience to the team

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rose is another player who has impressed on the PGA Tour in 2023, which included his 11th win on the Tour in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February. 

Rose also finished T6 in The Players Championship at T9 in the PGA Championship to demonstrate he still has what it takes to excel on the biggest stages.

The Englishman has five Ryder Cup appearances under his belt, too, and that experience will be vital if Europe is to take back the trophy from Team USA.

Nicolai Hojgaard

Nicolai Hojgaard at the Omega European Masters

Nicolai Hojgaard is one of golf's rising stars

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Dane will make his maiden appearance in the match after being named one of Donald's wildcards. 

There will be plenty of expectation resting on the 22-year-old's shoulders, too, with a pro career that already boasts two wins on the DP World Tour and a runner-up finish in the Corales Puntacana Championship on the PGA Tour. 

Hojgaard's first DP World Tour win came in 2021 in the Italian Open at the same venue as this year's Ryder Cup, and he will be looking to recreate that form. 

Ludvig Aberg

Ludvig Aberg at the Omega European Masters

Ludvig Aberg only turned pro three months before his wildcard pick

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Swede has only been in the pro game for three months, but he has done enough to persuade the captain that he will be an asset to his team. 

There's every suggestion Donald's faith in the 23-year-old will be justified, too, as he was named as a wildcard the day after claiming his maiden DP World Tour win in the Omega European Masters. Aberg is also the first player to reach the Ryder Cup having never played in a Major.

Aberg is expected to become one of the most successful players in the game in the coming years. With the opportunity to showcase his abilities on one of the biggest stages of all, Donald will be hoping that soon, he will make even the most casual fan sit up and take notice. 

Team Europe Captain

Luke Donald

Luke Donald takes a shot at the Genesis Scottish Open

Luke Donald brings a wealth of experience to the role

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Englishman Luke Donald captains Team Europe for the 2023 match, taking over from Ireland’s Padraig Harrington.

Donald had been in the reckoning to lead the team before the nod eventually went to Swede Henrik Stenson. However, the 2016 Open champion’s decision to join LIV Golf led to him being stripped of the captaincy, with Donald entrusted in the role instead.

The 45-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the role having amassed 17 wins over a 22-year professional career.

Donald, who also enjoyed 56 weeks at the top of the world rankings between 2011 and 2012, has represented Team Europe four times in the Ryder Cup, with four wins. Overall, he played 15 matches, securing 10.5 points.

Donald has also been a Ryder Cup Vice Captain twice, in 2018 under Thomas Bjorn and 2021 under Harrington.

Vice Captains:

  • Nicolas Colsaerts
  • Thomas Bjorn
  • Edoardo Molinari
  • Jose Maria Olazabal
  • Francesco Molinari
Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.