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Luke Donald announces six captain’s picks to finalize Euro Ryder Cup team

Analyzing European Ryder Cup team captain's picks
Damon Hack and Eamon Lynch dissect Luke Donald's six captain's picks: Tommy Fleetwood, Sepp Straka, Justin Rose, Shane Lowry, Nicolai Hojgaard and Ludvig Aberg.

The Ryder Cup sides are set as European captain Luke Donald announced his six wild-card selections on Monday.

Tommy Fleetwood (England), Sepp Straka (Austria), Justin Rose (England), Shane Lowry (Ireland), Nicolai Hojgaard (Denmark) and Ludvig Aberg (Sweden) were chosen to join the six automatic qualifiers for the matches at Marco Simone in Rome, Italy, Sept. 30 – Oct. 1.

This past week’s Omega European Masters was the final qualifying event for the European team and Aberg closed in 64 to secure his first win since turning professional in June. The 23-year-old former Texas Tech star didn’t have enough qualifying or world-ranking points to lock in a spot for the Continental side, but he left no doubt as to if he would be on the team.

“I played with a lot of contenders over these last six to 12 months. Some haven’t played that well,” Donald said. “But [Aberg] didn’t have any problem.”

Notably missing from the selected six, however, was Poland’s Adrian Meronk, who won this year’s Italian Open at Marco Simone.

The six players who earned their spots on Donald’s team through the European Points and World Points qualifying routes were: Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (EP), Spain’s Jon Rahm (EP), Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre (EP), Norway’s Viktor Hovland (WP) and England’s Tyrrell Hatton (WP) and Matt Fitzpatrick (WP).

The U.S. team was finalized last week when U.S. captain Zach Johnson made his six picks to round out his team of 12.

“They are going to be strong,” Donald said of the Americans. “They are always stronger than us on paper and world rankings, and obviously they had a pretty convincing win two years ago. We certainly don’t underestimate them. They are going to be extremely tough opponents. But we’ll be ready for them.”

The Americans are scheduled to get some practice at the host venue, Sept. 7-10, while the Euros are slated for an early look on Sept. 11, ahead of the BMW PGA Championship in England, the DP World Tour’s flagship event.

While the Americans won the most recent Ryder Cup in record fashion, 19-9, at Whistling Straits in 2021, it has not won on European soil since 1993.