Ryder Cup 2021 teams: The 12 men representing Europe and the USA at Whistling Straits – profiles, world rankings and caps and records in team event

The teams for the 2021 Ryder Cup have been confirmed and now all eyes are on Whistling Straits and golf’s blockbuster team event.

Team Europe will defend their trophy against Team USA in Wisconsin having claimed a stunning win in Paris three years ago.

The 2021 Ryder Cup is all set to get going at Whistling Straits

Padraig Harrington will skipper the Europeans whose team includes the likes of world number one Jon Rahm, superstar Rory McIlroy and Ryder Cup icons Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia.

The Americans, led by captain Steve Stricker, look extremely strong this year with Open champion Collin Morikawa, the big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau and Fedex Cup winner Patrick Cantlay in their ranks.

The two sides will tee it up on Friday, September 24 ahead of three days of elite golfing action.

Here’s a closer look at the 24 men who have been tasked with securing Ryder Cup glory for their teams…

Europe

Jon Rahm – Spain (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 26 – Ryder Cup Caps: 1 (2018) – Ryder Cup Record: Won 1, Lost 2, Halved 0 – Majors: 1 (2021 US Open) – World Ranking: 1

Won his first major title at Torrey Pines in June, just 15 days after being forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament when leading by six shots after 54 holes due to a positive Covid test. Also missed the Olympics in Tokyo after testing positive again before heading to Japan. Won just one of his three matches in Paris in 2018 but it was a vital one, beating Tiger Woods in the singles.

Viktor Hovland – Norway (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 23 – Caps: 0 – Majors: 0 – World Ranking: 13

The first Norwegian to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup, Hovland has enjoyed a rapid rise up the world rankings since turning professional thanks to two wins on the PGA Tour and a maiden European Tour title in the BMW International in June. Was undefeated in the Jacques Leglise Trophy in 2015 and won the US Amateur Championship in 2018.

Fleetwood was superb at the 2018 Ryder Cup

Tommy Fleetwood – England (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 30 – Caps: 1 (2018) – Record: Won 4, Lost 1, Halved 0 – Majors: 0 – World Ranking: 37

Made his debut in 2018 and partnered Francesco Molinari to four wins, three of them against an American pairing containing Woods. Ran out of steam in the singles and was beaten 6&4 by Tony Finau, and will also need a new partner in Wisconsin with Molinari not making the team. Looked to be hitting form at the right time with second place in the penultimate qualifying event in Italy.

Rory McIlroy – Northern Ireland (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 32 – Caps: 5 (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018) – Record: Won 11, Lost 9, Halved 4 – Majors: 4 (2011 US Open, 2012 US PGA, 2014 Open, 2014 US PGA) – World Ranking: 15

Won for the first time since November 2019 at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. Had a chance to win the US Open at Torrey Pines before eventually finishing seventh and also missed out in the seven-man play-off for Olympic bronze. Admits he ran out of steam in his epic singles contest against Patrick Reed at Hazeltine in 2016 and also lost to Justin Thomas in Paris, so captain Padraig Harrington may be wise to rest him from one of the sessions.

McIlroy goads the American hecklers

Paul Casey – England (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 44 – Caps: 4 (2004, 2006, 2008, 2018) – Record: Won 4, Lost 3, Halved 5 – Majors: 0 – World Ranking: 23

Returned to the side after a 10-year absence in Paris in 2018 after being given a wild card by captain Thomas Bjorn. Won one of his two fourball matches alongside Tyrrell Hatton and halved with four-time major winner Brooks Koepka in the singles. Won the Dubai Desert Classic in January and lost out in a play-off for the bronze medal in the Olympics.

Tyrrell Hatton – England (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 29 – Caps: 1 (2018) – Record: Won 1, Lost 2, Halved 0 – Majors 0 – World Ranking: 19

Won for the first time on the PGA Tour in March 2020 at the prestigious Arnold Palmer Invitational and then claimed the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last year, three days before celebrating his 29th birthday. Started 2021 with victory in Abu Dhabi to effectively secure a second Ryder Cup appearance. Won one of his two matches alongside Paul Casey in Paris before losing to Patrick Reed in the singles.

Lee Westwood has been superb in recent weeks
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Lee Westwood – England (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 48 – Caps: 10 (1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016) – Record: Won 20, Lost 18, Halved 6 – Majors: 0 – World Ranking: 34

Had to settle for being a vice-captain in 2018, ending his streak of 10 straight appearances and putting in jeopardy his chances of equalling Sir Nick Faldo’s record of 11. However, victory in Abu Dhabi in 2020 helped him win the Race to Dubai for the third time. Second in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship in March but eventually held on to the final qualifying place by just 9.3 points.

Matt Fitzpatrick – England (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 27 – Caps: 1 (2016) – Record: Won 0, Lost 2, Halved 0 – Majors: 0 – World Ranking: 27

Endured an unhappy debut at Hazeltine in 2016, sitting out the opening day and then losing his foursomes match with Henrik Stenson on Saturday before being sent out last in the singles and suffering a 4&3 defeat to Zach Johnson. Won the DP World Tour Championship for the second time in December 2020 and lost out in a play-off for the Scottish Open in July.

Bernd Wiesberger – Austria (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 35 – Caps: 0 – Majors: 0 – World Ranking: 61

Looked set to move into the automatic qualifying places by winning the Omega European Masters, only to double bogey the 72nd hole and lose by a shot. Went into the final qualifying event needing at least a top-50 finish to make the team and recovered from being three over par after six holes on day one to finish in a tie for 20th.

Poulter always delivers at the Ryder Cup

Ian Poulter – England (Captain’s picks)

Age: 45 – Caps: 6 (2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2018) – Record: Won 14, Lost 6, halved 2 – Majors: 0 – World Ranking: 49

Nicknamed ‘The Postman’ because he always delivers, Poulter was forced to settle for a vice-captaincy role in 2016 due to injury and looked to have lost his PGA Tour card in 2017 before a mistake in the way his points had been calculated was spotted by a fellow player. Without a win since the 2018 Houston Open and missed the cut in the final qualifying event at Wentworth.

Shane Lowry – Ireland (Captain’s picks)

Age: 34 – Caps: 0 – Majors: 1 (2019 Open) – World Ranking: 40

Went into the last event in the final automatic qualifying place but was pushed out by Wiesberger and was unable to finish in the top eight to displace Westwood, starting the final round in a tie for seventh but only managing a closing 71. Made no secret of his desire to qualify for the team, but was keen to qualify on merit and save his good friend Harrington from having to give him a wild card.

Sergio Garcia – Spain (Captain’s picks)

Age: 41 – Caps: 9 (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018) – Record: Won 22, Lost 12, Halved 7 – Majors: 1 (2017 Masters) – World Ranking: 43

A talismanic figure for Europe, so much so that he was brought in as a vice-captain by Colin Montgomerie in 2010 despite becoming disenchanted with golf and taking a two-month break from playing. Was out of form when given a wild card in 2018 but justified it in style with three wins from four matches to become Europe’s leading points scorer in the contest.

Garcia is a Ryder Cup legend

United States

Collin Morikawa – (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 24 – Caps: 0 – Majors: 2 (2020 US PGA, 2021 Open) – World Ranking: 3

Morikawa was still a university student in his native California at the time of the last Ryder Cup, turning professional in June 2019 and starting his PGA Tour with 22 consecutive made cuts, just three short of the record held by Woods. A brilliant iron player, Morikawa became the first player to capture two different majors on the first attempt with his Open victory at Royal St George’s.

Dustin Johnson – (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 37 – Caps: 4 (2010, 2012, 2016, 2018) – Record: Won 7 Lost 9 Halved 0 – Majors: 2 (US Open 2016, Masters 2020) – World Ranking: 2

Played all five matches for the first time in 2018, but only won one point in the opening morning’s fourballs alongside Rickie Fowler. Won the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup title in 2020 and followed up by claiming his second major title in November with a record-breaking victory in the Masters, shooting 20 under par at Augusta.

DeChambeau will be looking to blast Europe away
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Bryson DeChambeau – (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 28 – Caps: 1 (2018) – Record: Won 0 Lost 3 Halved 0 – Majors: 1 (2020 US Open) – World Ranking: 7

Bulked up during the coronavirus lockdown and subsequently overpowered Winged Foot to win the US Open in September 2020. Was likened to an eight-year-old by his own club manufacturer after complaining that his driver ‘sucks’ during this year’s Open and has been subject to taunts from spectators who have taken team-mate Brooks Koepka’s side in their ongoing spat. Lost all three matches on his debut in Paris.

Brooks Koepka – (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 31 – Caps: 2 (2016, 2018) – Record: Won 4 Lost 3 Halved 1 – Majors: 4 (US Open 2017-18, US PGA 2018-19) – World Ranking: 9

Since winning three points from four matches on his debut in 2016, Koepka became the first player since Curtis Strange in 1989 to win back-to-back US Open titles and also won the US PGA in both 2018 and 2019. Reportedly fell out with Johnson in the aftermath of the 2018 defeat in Paris, during which his errant tee shot hit a female spectator who lost the sight in one eye as a result.

Justin Thomas – (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 28 – Caps: 1 (2018) – Record: Won 4 Lost 1 Halved 0 – Majors: 1 (2017 US PGA) – World Ranking: 6

The stand-out performer for the USA on his debut in Paris in 2018, Thomas won four points from his five matches at Le Golf National. Only the star European pairing of Fleetwood and Molinari were able to get the better of Thomas and Jordan Spieth, with Thomas also leading from the front by beating McIlroy in the opening singles.

Thomas is a brilliant player and enjoys the Ryder Cup
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Patrick Cantlay – (Automatic Qualifier)

Age: 29 – Caps: 0 – Majors: 0 – World Ranking: 4

Claimed his place on the team in some style, shooting 27 under par in the BMW Championship before beating DeChambeau in a six-hole play-off to claim his third win of the season and then securing Fedex Cup glory too. Good friends with Xander Schauffele and the pair are likely to resume their Presidents Cup partnership from 2019, which produced two wins from four matches.

Jordan Spieth – (Captain’s picks)

Age: 28 – Caps: 3 (2014, 2016, 2018) – Record: Won 7 Lost 5 Halved 2 – Majors: 3 (Masters 2015, US Open 2015, Open 2017) – World Ranking: 14

Won two-and-a-half points from three matches with Patrick Reed in 2014 and the same from their four together in 2016, but partnered Thomas – much to Reed’s unhappiness – in Paris and claimed three wins from four matches before losing 5&4 to Thorbjorn Olesen in the singles. Went almost four years without a victory before winning the Valero Texas Open in April.

Spieth will be a key player for the USA
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Tony Finau – (Captain’s picks)

Age: 32 – Caps: 1 (2018) – Record: Won 2 Lost 1 Halved 0 – Majors: 0 – World Ranking: 10

A five-year wait for his second PGA Tour title, which had been immortalised with an affectionate song parody, finally came to an end in the first FedEx Cup play-off event in August with a play-off win over Cameron Smith. A hugely-popular figure who shared 10th in the 2018 Masters despite dislocating his ankle when celebrating a hole-in-one during the par-three contest. Given a wild card in 2018 and thrashed European star Fleetwood 6&4 in the singles.

Harris English – (Captain’s picks)

Age: 32 – Caps: 0 – Majors: 0 – World Ranking: 11

Fourth and third in the US Open in the last two years, English followed his strong showing at Torrey Pines in June by winning his fourth PGA Tour title the following week at the Travelers Championship. Also won the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January.

Xander Schauffele – (Captain’s picks)

Age: 27 – Caps: 0 – Majors: 0 – World Ranking: 5

Made four straight birdies in the final round of the 2021 Masters to close within two of eventual winner Hideki Matsuyama, only to hit his tee shot on the 16th into the water and run up a triple-bogey. Had the consolation of claiming a brilliant gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Schauffele claimed glory at the Tokyo Olympics
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Daniel Berger – (Captain’s picks)

Age: 28 – Caps: 0 – Majors: 0 – World Ranking: 16

Won his fourth PGA Tour title in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February with an eagle on the final hole, but also impressed in the majors in 2021. Finished seventh in the US Open at Torrey Pines and eighth in the Open Championship at Royal St George’s.

Scottie Scheffler – (Captain’s picks)

Age: 25 – Caps: 0 – Majors: 0 – World Ranking: 21

Shot 59 in the second round of the Northern Trust in 2020 but went on to finish fourth and has yet to win on the PGA Tour, although he has also enjoyed an impressive year in the majors. After finishing 18th in the Masters, Scheffler recorded top-10 finishes in the US PGA, US Open and Open Championship and his length off the tee will be an advantage at Whistling Straits.