Age: 25 World ranking: One Pro wins: 15 Majors: Four Ryder Cup appearances: 2010, 2012 Ryder Cup record: 4W-3L-2H
The four-time major champion has enjoyed a wonderful return to form in 2014. He’s admitted to playing the best golf of his life on his way to winning The Open, WGC Bridgestone Invitational and US PGA Championship in consecutive starts. He has only known victory as a team member and will be desperate for that to continue. The expected soft conditions at Gleneagles in September will suit him perfectly. His distance off the tee and high ball flight can bring any course and opponent to their knees and he’s started finding some form with the putter. He doesn’t have a stand-out Ryder Cup record, but we expect his incredible form and the mental strength he demonstrated at Valhalla to lead to a talismanic performance in his third Ryder Cup. Ian Poulter says: “Rory hits it 340 yards down the middle, hits towering iron shots and holes putts – you want him on your team!”
Age: 38 World ranking: Three Pro wins: 16 Majors: None Ryder Cup appearances: 2006, 2008 Ryder Cup record: 2W-3L-2H
The defending Race to Dubai and FedEx Cup champion has continued his impressive form this summer, although he’s yet to record a win this season. His relentless accuracy into greens will be hard for opponents to handle, but his putting can be a little streaky. He has valuable experience of winning on home soil and losing in America.
Age: 34 World ranking: Four Pro wins: 27 Majors: None Ryder Cup appearances: 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012 Ryder Cup record: 16W-8L-4H
The Spaniard is an experienced Ryder Cup player with four wins in six appearances. He’s played fantastically this year, racking up one win and seven more top 10s in 2014 and leading the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained – Putting. His passion and ability will elevate the whole team.
Age: 34 World ranking: Five Pro wins: 17 Majors: One Ryder Cup appearances: 2008, 2012 Ryder Cup record: 6W-3L-0H
The 2013 US Open champion stepped up in the singles at Medinah to defeat Mickelson in a pivotal match and his major-winning experience will make him a leader this year. He’s never tasted European defeat and he’s won four out of five matches when partnered with Ian Poulter. Confidence will be sky-high after back-to-back wins in July.
Age: 29 World ranking: 14 Pro wins: 21 Majors: Two Ryder Cup appearances: 2010, 2012 Ryder Cup record: 3W-2L-0H
The man whose putt won the last Ryder Cup at Medinah rose to the big occasions in winning the US Open and Players Championship this year. Despite these two massive wins, his form has been inconsistent and he hasn’t recorded another top 10 in 2014. His calm and controlled demeanour could make him an ideal partner for a rookie.
Age: 24 World ranking: 23 Pro wins: Two Majors: None Ryder Cup appearances: None
The young Frenchman demonstrated his matchplay ability in reaching WGC-Accenture World Matchplay final and recorded top 10s at The Open and US PGA Championship. He bombs it off the tee and has magic hands around the greens. His inexperience is perhaps a question mark, but he seems impervious to pressure.
Age: 43 World ranking: 24 Pro wins: 21 Majors: None Ryder Cup appearances: 1997, 2002 Ryder Cup record: 3W-2L-1H
The experienced Dane hasn’t won in 2014 but he does have five top 10s and a winning Ryder Cup record. Bjorn is one of the best pitchers in the game and he won the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2011. He’s spent the majority of his career in Europe, so he’ll benefit from it being played in front of a home crowd on a course he knows.
Age: 35 World ranking: 16 Pro wins: 13 Majors: 1 Ryder Cup appearances: 2008, 2010, 2012 Ryder Cup record: 5W-5L-2H
Age: 38 World ranking: 27 Pro wins: 7 Majors: None Ryder Cup appearances: None
The Welshman has never played in the Ryder Cup but he’s taken his game to the next level with two big wins and some encouraging performances in America in the last couple of years.
Age: 37 World ranking: 36 Pro wins: 16 Majors: None Ryder Cup appearances: 2004, 2008, 2010 Ryder Cup record: W8-L3-H0
The talismanic Englishman hasn’t been in great form this year, but he takes his game to new heights in the Ryder Cup. He’s won 12 of his 15 matches in four previous appearances.
Age: 41 World ranking: 38 Pro wins: 40 Majors: None Ryder Cup appearances: 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 200, 2008, 2010, 2012 Ryder Cup record: W18-L13-H6
It’s been a poor year by Westy’s standards, despite a win in Malaysia in April. He missed four cuts on the bounce, including The Open before showing some form at the US PGA Championship. His experience of eight Ryder Cups could prove pivotal.
Age: 39 World ranking: 33 Pro wins: 4 Majors: None Ryder Cup appearances: None
The Scotsman has built on his win in Dubai to climb to world number 32. He’ll be a popular pick in his home country, following in the footsteps of Ryder Cup hero uncle Bernard.
To introduce the team, we have the Europe captain, Paul McGinley in his own words.
“How proud am I to be captain? I said at the time when I was selected by the Tournament Committee in Abu Dhabi in January 2013, that to be chosen by my peers to be captain of the European Ryder Cup team was one of the greatest honours bestowed on me in my entire career, and I still feel that way today.
“As well as being good friends, my vice captains Sam Torrance and Des Smyth will be vital assets. They were the first two I had in mind for the role when I was appointed captain and, since then, I have talked to a lot of the experienced European players about having them as part of the team. To a man, they have been very supportive of the idea.
“Tom Watson was my boyhood hero, so it’s a thrill for me to be going up against him. I know how formidable he’s going to be. I know he’s going to bring a lot of respect and I know he’s going to get a lot of respect from the crowd, too. But both of us appreciate that, when the bell goes, we are like two prizefighters who go back to our corners and then come out swinging. Neither of us would have it any other way.
“Any captain wants to see his players in form and I am delighted with the Major victories of Martin and Rory. It takes a certain kind of individual to do what Martin did at Pinehurst and I was particularly impressed, not just with the physical side of his performance, but also the mental strength he showed. Rory has been very much an integral part of the last two Ryder Cup teams and I have no doubt that he will play a major role at Gleneagles as well.”