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Ryder Cup, European capsules

September 21, 2018

FILE - These 2018 file photos show the members of the European Ryder Cup golf team. They are, top row from left, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy and Franceso Molinari. Bottom row, from left, Alex Noren, Thorbjorn Oleson, Ian Poulter, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. (AP Photo/File)

A capsule look at the European team for the 42nd Ryder Cup matches on Sept. 28-30 at Le Golf National in France. Players listed in order they made the team:

FRANCESCO MOLINARI

Age: 35.

Country: Italy.

World ranking: 6.

Ryder Cup teams: 2010, 2012.

Ryder Cup record: 0-4-2.

Ryder Cup partners: Edoardo Molinari, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose.

Ryder Cup moment: After a resounding loss to Tiger Woods in 2010 at Celtic Manor, halving the final match at Medinah against Woods that gave Europe the half-point it needed for outright victory.

Career victories: 7.

Majors: British Open (2018).

Outlook: He has yet to win a Ryder Cup match. He also has yet to play on a losing team. Molinari was the hottest player in golf this summer when he won on the European Tour (BMW PGA Championship), PGA Tour (Quicken Loans National) and became Italy’s first major champion at the British Open. With improved putting, he has become a complete player lacking only big power.

JUSTIN ROSE

Age: 38.

Country: England

World ranking: 1.

Ryder Cup teams: 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016.

Ryder Cup record: 11-5-2.

Ryder Cup partners: Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer, Francesco Molinari, Henrik Stenson, Chris Wood.

Ryder Cup moment: Making a 45-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole at Medinah that sparked his crucial victory over Phil Mickelson.

Career victories: 20.

Majors: U.S. Open (2013).

Outlook: If he stays at No. 1 going into France, it will be the third time in the last four Ryder Cups that Europe has had the top-ranked player. He has not sat out a match since his debut in 2008 and went unbeaten (3-0-2) the last time the Ryder Cup was in Europe. With his consistency, he has become Europe’s most reliable player.

TYRRELL HATTON

Age: 26.

Country: England.

World ranking: 26.

Ryder Cup teams: Rookie.

Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0.

Ryder Cup partners: To be determined.

Ryder Cup moment: Picking up his first victory and beginning his rise the week after the 2016 Ryder Cup.

Career victories: 3.

Majors: None.

Outlook: One of six rookies for Europe, the Englishman had a pair of top 10s in the majors this year at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship. Also had a chance to win a World Golf Championship in Mexico. He’s an emotional player, and that figures to be tested in the Ryder Cup.

TOMMY FLEETWOOD

Age: 27.

Country: England.

World ranking: 12.

Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0.

Ryder Cup partners: To be determined.

Ryder Cup moment: His son’s first birthday is opening day at the Ryder Cup.

Career victories: 4.

Majors: None.

Outlook: Another Ryder Cup rookie that won’t seem like one because of his rise in the world ranking. Fleetwood has great control of his golf ball and handles big moments well. Closed with a 63 to be runner-up at the U.S. Open. Among his victories is the French Open at Le Golf National in 2017. He won the Race to Dubai on the European Tour last year.

JON RAHM

Age: 23.

Country: Spain.

World ranking: 7.

Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0.

Ryder Cup partners: To be determined.

Ryder Cup moment: Being mentioned as a wild-card pick in 2016 three months after he turned pro.

Career victories: 5.

Majors: None.

Outlook: Billed as the next Spaniard hopeful of leaving his mark in the Ryder Cup, and that comes with plenty of passion. Rahm is an imposing figure who plays an attacking style of golf, and while his emotions can lead to bogeys, they also can lead to plenty of birdies. He already has five victories in just over two years as a pro. Is likely to have Rory McIlroy as a partner.

RORY MCILROY

Age: 29.

Country: Northern Ireland.

World ranking: 5.

Ryder Cup teams: 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016.

Ryder Cup record: 9-6-4

Ryder Cup partners: Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Andy Sullivan, Thomas Pieters.

Ryder Cup moment: Showing up with minutes to spare for his singles match at Medinah, and with a police escort, because he forgot Chicago was in the central time zone. And then he beat Keegan Bradley.

Career victories: 22.

Majors: U.S. Open (2011), British Open (2014), PGA Championship (2012, 2014).

Outlook: Even as he works to put together all pieces of his game, McIlroy remains one of the most dynamic players on the European Tour side and a voice of experience even before his 30th birthday. He played with two rookies at Hazeltine, Andy Sullivan and Thomas Pieters, and might get another one in Rahm. Ended 18 months without a victory at Bay Hill with an explosive finish.

ALEX NOREN

Age: 36.

Country: Sweden.

World ranking: 15.

Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0.

Ryder Cup partners: To be determined.

Ryder Cup moment: Winning three of his four tournaments during a Ryder Cup year in 2016 after the matches were played.

Career victories: 10.

Majors: None.

Outlook: One of the hardest workers in Europe, with callouses on his hands to show for it. Played his college golf at Oklahoma State and has been a late bloomer with five victories since the last Ryder Cup. Noren lost in a playoff at Torrey Pines, and lost in 19 holes in the semifinals of the Match Play to Kevin Kisner.

THORBJORN OLESEN

Age: 28.

Country: Denmark.

World ranking: 44.

Ryder Cup teams: Rookie.

Ryder Cup record: 0-0-0.

Ryder Cup partners: To be determined.

Ryder Cup moment: Sealing his spot in the final event to make his first team under Denmark’s first Ryder Cup captain.

Career victories: 6.

Majors: None.

Outlook: The Dane was seen as one of the potential rising stars in Europe, and he could make a name for himself in the Ryder Cup. He found form after winning the Italian Open, finishing second in Germany and third in the World Golf Championship at Firestone. At No. 44, he is the lowest-ranked player at Le Golf National.

PAUL CASEY

Age: 41.

Country: England.

World ranking: 18.

Ryder Cup teams: 2004, 2006, 2008.

Ryder Cup record: 3-2-4.

Ryder Cup partners: David Howell, Robert Karlsson, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia.

Ryder Cup moment: Making a hole-in-one on the 14th hole in foursomes at The K Club to win the match in 2006.

Career victories: 16.

Majors: None.

Outlook: Casey rejoined the European Tour late last year with the goal of returning to the Ryder Cup, and while he ended an eight-year drought on the PGA Tour by winning the Valspar Championship, he had to rely on a captain’s pick. This will be his first Ryder Cup in 10 years. He was No. 7 in the world when Colin Montgomerie left him off the team in 2010 at Wales.

SERGIO GARCIA

Age: 38.

Country: Spain.

World ranking: 28.

Ryder Cup teams: 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016.

Ryder Cup record: 19-11-7.

Ryder Cup partners: Jesper Parnevik, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Jose Maria Olazabal, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Paul Casey, Nicolas Colsaerts, Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Ryder Cup moment: Rallying to beat Jim Furyk in a crucial singles match at Medinah.

Career victories: 28.

Majors: Masters (2017).

Outlook: The most prolific member of this European team, Garcia is a wild card in every sense. He hasn’t won this year, and hasn’t come particularly close. He has fallen to No. 28 in the world. Thomas Bjorn referred to him as the heart of the European team. He has played every Ryder Cup except 2010, and at Wales he was a last-minute vice captain. He missed the cut in every major this year. The Ryder Cup brings out a different side of him, and his lone top 10 since March was at Le Golf National.

IAN POULTER

Age: 42.

Country: England.

World ranking: 34.

Ryder Cup teams: 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014.

Ryder Cup record: 12-4-2.

Ryder Cup partners: Darren Clarke, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Ross Fisher, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Stephen Gallacher.

Ryder Cup moment: Making birdie on his last five holes of the pivotal fourballs match at Medinah that turned the tide for a European victory.

Career victories: 15.

Majors: None.

Outlook: His career has been defined by the Ryder Cup, with bulging eye balls from his intensity, and a strong record. Poulter missed in 2016 because of a foot injury, and he didn’t appear to be on the radar this year until his victory in the Houston Open. He remains the one player no American wants to lose to in a match, which speaks to his value on this team. Nickname is the “Postman” because he always delivers.

HENRIK STENSON

Age: 42.

Country: Sweden.

World ranking: 24.

Ryder Cup teams: 2006, 2008, 2014, 2016.

Ryder Cup record: 7-7-2.

Ryder Cup partners: David Howell, Padraig Harrington, Paul Casey, Oliver Wilson, Robert Karlsson, Justin Rose, Matt Fitzpatrick.

Ryder Cup moment: Delivering the cup-clinching point at The K Club with his singles victory over Vaughn Taylor.

Career victories: 19.

Majors: British Open (2016).

Outlook: He hasn’t won in more than a year and had to rely on being a captain’s pick for the first time. Stenson and Rose teamed to win all three of their matches at the last Ryder Cup in Europe, but he and Rose lost twice to Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed at Hazeltine. He has been coping with a nagging elbow surgery.

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