LONDON — The US team will be looking to defend their Ryder golf Cup crown against their European rivals later this month in Rome.
Europe Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald picked major winners Justin Rose and Shane Lowry plus rising star Ludvig Aberg among his six wildcards for the tournament.
“It’s really the start of the mission,” Rose said. “I’ve always really tried to, and enjoyed, the process of trying to prepare for major championships, trying to peak at the right time and that’s my challenge now.
“As a player, it’s just what can I do over the course of the next three weeks to be winning point ready. Just to go out and put myself with the best opportunity to win a point, which is why you’re on the team.”
His other selections for the event against the United States are Tommy Fleetwood, Sepp Straka and Nicolai Hojgaard.
The six players join automatic qualifiers Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Matt Fitzpatrick, Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton and Robert MacIntyre in Donald’s team, which will attempt to regain the trophy at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club from September 29 to October 1.
Former world number one amateur Aberg only turned professional in June, but won the last qualifying event in Switzerland with a final round of 64 at Crans-sur-Sierre.
The 23-year-old Swede has made the quickest transition from the amateur ranks to the Ryder Cup in the contest’s history, eclipsing the previous record set by Sergio Garcia, who made his debut in September 1999 after turning professional following April’s Masters.
“We have great depth of talent in Europe, and that is perfectly illustrated with the team we now have confirmed for Rome, which is a strong blend of players with previous Ryder Cup experience combined with exciting and talented rookies,” said Donald according to AFP.
“I’m really pleased to have this team now in place and we are all looking forward to going to Rome later this month and trying to win back the Ryder Cup.”
Speaking about Aberg, the Europe skipper said: “We obviously knew what he was doing in the college scene. You look at what he did in those four years and the only comparables really were Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm. He is that good.”
The United States have not lifted the trophy on European soil since 1993 but will arrive in Italy as favourites, with three of this year’s major champions, including LIV star Brooks Koepka in their ranks alongside world number one Scottie Scheffler.