Team Europe will be aiming for a record fourth consecutive victory at Hazeltine. Here we present the ultimate European Ryder Cup team based on percentage of points won having played in a minimum of three matches.
Ian Poulter 72.2%
A fearsome match play competitor with The Ryder Cup running through his veins. Five birdies in the last five holes during his Saturday afternoon fourball match with Rory Mclroy to defeat Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson lifted Europe off the canvas and inspired the Miracle of Medinah in 2012. Has 12 wins and two half points from 18 Ryder Cup matches.
Justin Rose 71.4%
If Ian Poulter’s five birdies provided the inspiration for Europe in 2012, it was Justin Rose who made Europe think the impossible might just become possible with his extraordinary match against Phil Mickelson, a massive putt across the 17th green effectively sealing a vital point. Won nine, lost three and halved two matches, and has never lost a singles tie.
Luke Donald 70.0%
Competed in four Ryder Cups and enjoyed a formidable record, particularly in foursomes where he was unbeaten in his first three Ryder Cups. The former World Number One is renowned as one of the most consistent players on the world stage and a lethal wedge player. Boasts an impressive won ten, lost four, halved one record.
Jose Maria Olazabal 66.1%
Jose Maria and the great Seve Ballesteros formed the most formidable European Ryder Cup partnership of all time, winning 11 and halving two of their 15 matches together. Over seven appearances and 31 matches, Jose Maria won 18 and halved five. As Captain in 2012, he led Europe to the greatest comeback on away soil in the history of The Ryder Cup.
Colin Montgomerie 65.0%
Europe’s on-course general, Montgomerie never lost a Ryder Cup singles match in eight appearances, winning six and halving two. Whether leading the line from the front or providing the anchor role, he proved unbeatable. In total, he won 20 and halved seven of his 36 encounters. Only Sir Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer have won more points for Europe.
Sergio Garcia 64.0%
Will be making his eighth Ryder Cup appearance to draw level with Seve Ballesteros as the most capped Spaniards in 2016 and plays with the same swashbuckling style. Has won 18 and halved five of his 32 matches over seven previous Ryder Cups, and his partnerships with Luke Donald and Lee Westwood proving particularly fruitful.
Graeme McDowell 60.0%
Clinched the winning point in 2010 at The Celtic Manor Resort in the final match on the course and then led from the front in 2014 on the final day to set the tone for another European victory. Has contributed nine points from a possible 15 to the European cause over his four appearances and received widespread acclaim for the manner in which he took Victor Dubuisson under his wing in 2014.
Seve Ballesteros 60.0%
Breathed new life into The Ryder Cup when he joined Antonio Garrido as the first Europeans to compete in 1979 and was undoubtedly integral to transforming the Ryder Cup into the great sporting contest we see today. Together his close friend Jose Maria Olazabal, formed the greatest partnership in the history of the matches, losing only twice in 15 matches together. In both 1989 and 1991 they were unbeatable. With 22.5 points, Ballesteros lies third in the table of most points won for Europe.
Darren Clarke 58.0%
The 2016 European Captain made five appearances as a player, winning ten of his 20 matches with a further three halved matches. In partnership with Lee Westwood, won six of eight matches together, a return bettered only by Seve and Ollie. Produced arguably his best Ryder Cup display in 2006 when he was unbeaten in his three matches as Europe won an emotional contest at the K Club.
Bernhard Langer 57.1%
Played 42 matches over ten appearances, winning 24 points in total, a record surpassed only by Sir Nick Faldo. With 11.5 foursomes points, he has won more points in the alternate shot format than any other European. His partnership with Colin Montgomerie yielded five wins and a half from their seven matches together. Also led Europe as Captain to a record victory at Oakland Hills in 2006.
Rory McIlroy 57.0%
Has played in every Ryder Cup since 2010, winning eight points from his 14 matches in the process, with a highlight coming at Gleneagles in 2014, when the Northern Irishman beat Rickie Fowler 5&4 in the Sunday Singles. Currently unbeaten in singles.
Lee Westwood 56.0%
Has played in every Ryder Cup since 1997, which is a testament to his longevity. Westwood has won 23 points from those nine matches and has only been on the losing side twice. He was unbeaten in the 2004 and 2006 tournaments, and equalled Arnold Palmer’s record at Valhalla in 2008 when he made it 12 matches without defeat.