Bjorn Reveals Four New Ryder Cup Vice Captains
It was billed as a "Big Announcement" and Thomas Bjorn delivered on that promise with the unveiling of four new Vice Captains for the Ryder Cup. The European Captain presented veterans Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell as his new supporting team, joining Robert Karlsson who had been announced last year.
Boasting considerable experience, this management group will both represent a strong presence at Le Golf National, and perhaps additionally outline future captains in what has become a line of succession.
45-year-old Westwood - a member of each team dating back to 1997 - is the most tenured member, while three-time major champion Harrington was a vice-captain under Darren Clarke at Hazeltine in 2016. Luke Donald (40) and Graeme McDowell (38) are both still active players on the PGA Tour, and will remain a close contact with potential stars in America. The Northern Irishman has also won the Open de France at Le Golf National, and displayed his qualities when guiding rookie Victor Dubuisson at Gleneagles in 2014.
Ryder Cup appearances: 29— Thomas Bjorn (@thomasbjorngolf) May 22, 2018
Ryder Cup Matches: 119
Ryder Cup points: 60
Absolutely delighted to welcome such an experienced and talented bunch of guys to @rydercupteameurope #ViceCaptains #LetsGoEurope ???????? pic.twitter.com/C3xwymjsM0
Westworld: "I've been on ten Ryder Cup sides, but never been involved with the role sort of behind the scenes, and as a vice captain. So when Thomas asked me to take that role, I was obviously delighted and jumped at the chance. Myself and Thomas have known each other many years, since the mid '90s, we're friends, and you know, anything I can do to have a bit of input and help, I will gladly do, and it will be nice to see him take on his role as captain and support him as much as I can."
McDowell: "I think my experience at Paris National, the four Ryder Cups I've played, have been the greatest moments of my career. You know, just excited to take on a slightly different view of things, and obviously help the 12 players be as ready as they possibly can to regain this trophy that we all care so much about."
Harrington: "We all know that the captain, the teams are so well balanced nowadays that the captain can make all the difference, and he needs all the support he can get, and there is a lot going on during the week. So it's nice to be back again to do it. You know, I've known Thomas since 1996 when he beat me for Rookie of the Year, so we have had very close careers over the years. And everything, we've had a meeting or two now, and everything I've heard so far really is on the right track. We like what we are hearing for Thomas, and it looks like it's all heading in the right direction."
Donald: "I've been in constant conversation with Thomas since he was announced as captain, just playing it clear that I'd love to be involved in any way I can to help Team Europe get the Cup back, and obviously I'm on a little bit of an injury, but we're here for The Ryder Cup, and I'm really excited to help in any way I can, and do what I can.
"So it's really fun when Thomas approached me and asked me to be a part of this, and I look forward to using some of my experience and helping in anyway we can in getting that cup back on European soil."
Experience ???????????? pic.twitter.com/yAPsdqgbbi— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) May 22, 2018
Joining Robert Karlsson, it's a strong five backing the captain. Team Europe looks to be strong on the course, and the supporting group has the stature to reflect that. Who knows, one of them may even spring a surprise victory or two and qualify for the team in a playing capacity. They have all experienced the feeling of success in the Ryder Cup.
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