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European Tour

DP World Tour: Teams unveiled for Hero Cup in Abu Dhabi

European Ryder Cup Captain Luke Donald has announced 18 players, including an exciting mix of Ryder Cup stars, Major Champions and the most promising young players in world golf, to make up the Continental Europe and Great Britain and Ireland teams for next year’s Hero Cup in Abu Dhabi from January 13-15.

In consultation with the respective Hero Cup Captains Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari, who will both compete as playing Captains, Donald confirmed the teams for next year’s match play contest at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, with one remaining position for each team to be allocated at the conclusion of the DP World Tour calendar year.

Match Play Tournament on the DP World Tour

Donald and Molinari have constructed a strong mix of proven winners with Sweden’s Alex Noren and Belgium’s Thomas Pieters bringing Ryder Cup experience to the Continental Europe ranks one week before the Belgian defends his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship title at Yas Links.

Molinari’s team will be completed by a host of exciting young players including Austrian Sepp Straka, who won his maiden PGA TOUR title at The Honda Classic in 2022, three-time DP World Tour winner Rasmus Højgaard, two-time winner Victor Perez and Adrian Meronk, who became the first Polish player to win on the DP World Tour when he claimed the 2022 Horizon Irish Open.

Belgium’s Thomas Detry has also enjoyed a strong start to his rookie PGA TOUR season finishing in the top-12 in three of the five events played – including second place in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship – and has six top-15 finishes on the DP World Tour. He is joined by three-time DP World Tour winner Guido Migliozzi, who claimed the biggest victory of his career in September at the Cazoo Open de France.

The Great Britain and Ireland team, led by two-time Ryder Cup player Fleetwood, boasts 2019 Open Champion Shane Lowry and four-time Rolex Series winner Tyrrell Hatton amongst its ranks.

They will be joined by a stream of Ryder Cup hopefuls including Irishman Séamus Power, who has enjoyed a stunning start to the 2023 PGA TOUR season and currently leads the FedEx Cup Standings, and DP World Tour winners Ewen Ferguson, Robert MacIntyre, Callum Shinkwin, Jordan Smith and Matt Wallace.

Luke Donald wants to “combine experience and youthfulness”

Donald, the 2023 European Ryder Cup Captain, said: “Having worked closely with Tommy and Fran on building the two teams, I’m delighted with the mix of players who will be on show at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in January.

“We all thought it was important to combine experience and youthfulness and I think we have found that balance with a mixture of Major Champions and Ryder Cup players, alongside guys who are hoping to secure a spot in Rome next year.”

Prep at the highest level

Molinari, the Continental Europe Captain and 2018 Open Champion, said: “Our team is packed full of exciting players who all have the attributes to excel in a match play contest and I’m excited to lead them into the Hero Cup next year.

“Some of our younger players have already shown incredible maturity in high-pressured situations and proved they can perform in big moments, so giving them the opportunity to compete on this stage alongside the likes of Alex Noren and Thomas Pieters will be really important at the beginning of what could be a big year for them.”

Fleetwood leads the island Europeans

Fleetwood, who combined with Molinari to collect four points from four matches at the 2018 Ryder Cup in France, said: “I am really pleased with the players who will form the Great Britain and Ireland team next year.

“Having the experience of Shane and Tyrrell will be invaluable for the rest of the team in a match play environment but I think we are really strong throughout the team. We have proven winners in some of the biggest DP World Tour events and it will be great to have Séámus with us following his excellent start to the season in America.”

Dr Pawan Munjal, Chairman and CEO, Hero MotoCorp, said: “We are delighted to see the best of emerging talent from Europe together with established Major Champions and Ryder Cup stars at the upcoming Hero Cup in January. It is going to be a fantastic week of top class golf and a keen tussle on the course between these two strong teams.”

2023 Hero Cup Teams

Continental Europe Great Britain & Ireland
Francesco MOLINARI (C) Tommy FLEETWOOD (C)
Thomas DETRY Ewen FERGUSON
Rasmus HØJGAARD Tyrrell HATTON
Adrian MERONK Shane LOWRY
Guido MIGLIOZZI Robert MACINTYRE
Alex NOREN Seamus POWER
Victor PEREZ Callum SHINKWIN
Thomas PIETERS Jordan SMITH
Sepp STRAKA Matt WALLACE
Player TBC Player TBC

(Text: Press release DP World Tour)

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Panorama

Captains Donald and Johnson take the Ryder Cup to the Colosseum

The two captains chipped shots from a specifically built platform to a Ryder Cup green located in Tempio di Venere Roma (Temple of Venus and Roma), in the shadow of the world-famous Colosseum.

European Captain Donald and United States Captain Johnson are in Rome to mark 12 months until Italy hosts its first Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, from September 26 to October 1, 2023.

The pair took the famous Ryder Cup trophy into the heart of Rome to the Colosseum, one of the city’s most historic sights which attracts millions of tourists each year.

Built in the 1st Century AD, the stone amphitheatre was a gathering place during the Roman Empire, with a capacity of around 50,000 people.

Captain Donald said: “The Colosseum is iconic when it comes to Rome, built back in 80 A.D., I was reading up about it. It is still the biggest amphitheatre ever be to built. It’s amazing they were able to do such amazing things back so many years ago.

“So to have that as a backdrop was a great showcase for Italy and a great showcase for Rome.”

Captain Johnson said: “It was an unbelievable morning and to share it with Luke and Diane and my wife was special. I mean, it’s almost surreal. The backdrop of the Colosseum, the Temple of Venus, it’s something that you just kind of pinch yourself. It was very spectacular, and I appreciate that opportunity, so thank you.”

The Captains’ visit to the Colosseum and Tempio di Venere Roma marked the second day of the Year To Go Celebrations, and the pair also hosted their first joint press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Yesterday, Donald and Johnson were joined by 12 members of the Federazione Italiana Golf’s (FIG) Elite National Under 18 team – six boys and six girls aged 15-18 – and four members of the Elite Disabled team for the four-hole Captains’ Challenge match over the first, 16th, 17th and 18th holes at Marco Simone.

Approximately 300 local school children watched the event, which fittingly ended in a tie, with the two teams sharing the trophy.

On Monday evening, the two Captains joined 200 guests at the Official Gala Dinner which took place at the spectacular Palazzo Colonna.

Marco Simone will host the 2023 Ryder Cup from September 26 to October 1, 2023, when Europe will try to regain the Ryder Cup following defeat at Whistling Straits last year.

(Text: Ryder Cup)

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European Tour

Prep for the Ryder Cup: DP World Tour brings team match play tournament

In the week leading up to the DP World Tour’s (formerly European Tour) flagship tournament – the BMW PGA Championship, which also kicks off Ryder Cup qualifying – the European circuit has announced a new tournament format. The Hero Cup in January 2023 will be played in team match play as a sort of replacement for the Seve Trophy last held in 2013. Captain Luke Donald is enthusiastic and hopes to prepare for the Ryder Cup.

DP World Tour: New team match play format

“One of the first things I was keen to do when I was appointed as Ryder Cup Captain was to reinstate a team match play contest to give playing and leadership experience to future Ryder Cup players, vice-captains and Captains,” the leader of the European Ryder Cup team for the 2023 continental competition in Rome is quoted as saying in a DP World Tour press release. The Hero Cup, scheduled to take place at Abu Dhabi Golf Club from 13-15 January 2023, will feature two ten-man teams made up of British/Irish and Continental European golfers.

Donald will be in charge of the event and will assemble both teams in consultation with their respective captains, who are yet to be announced. The competition will consist of a fourball, a foursome and a singles round, each involving all 20 players. Who will be allowed to compete in the new tournament format will be announced after the season ends with the DP World Tour Championship 2022 in Dubai. The performance of the past season will also be taken into account in the selection.

Luke Donald with plenty of influence

“I spoke to a number of former Ryder Cup Captains who were strong advocates of how similar events in the past have benefitted players who were pushing to make Ryder Cup teams, as well as their own captaincy journey,” Donald, who was appointed skipper just a few weeks ago, said of the reasons for the new format.

The Ryder Cup captain thus continues to influence the design of the Continental Cup, which will be held in September 2023 at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club outside Rome. Most recently, Donald, together with his vice-captains, had adjusted the qualifying criteria and given himself more leeway by selecting a larger number of picks. Now the aim is to increase competitiveness again through playing practice in team competition and in man-to-man battles after they went down in the “Waterloo of Wisconsin” against an overpowering American team in 2021.