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  • Writer's pictureBen Maroco

Who Are The Ryder Cup Captains 2023?

Updated: Nov 5, 2022

Image of Ryder Cup Captains 2023
Image of Previous Ryder Cup winners Celebrating

2023 Ryder Cup Captains

Europe is seeking to bounce back from the 2021 Whistling Straits record defeat when the U.S under Steve Stricker thrashed Europe 19-9. The U.S. extended its dominance in the biennial duel to 27-14. So, who are the Ryder Cup Captain 2023? And, how are Ryder Cup captains picked?

The preparations of team Europe were thrown into disarray following the ousting of the from the list of Ryder Cup captains Henrik Stenson as the Ryder Cup 2023 Captain after his defection to LIV Golf. The move started with a $4.375 million payday as Stenson took a jibe at the decision to axe him following his debut win at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster.

Luke Donald, the world number, quickly replaced Stenson for Rome as one of the Ryder Cup captains 2021and he is set to face the American side under the US Ryder Cup captains leadership of Zach Johnson, a two-time Major winner.

Luke Donald – 2023 European Ryder Cup Captains

Image of Luke Donald - Source: Facebook

Luke was named the successor of Stenson and as one of the 2023 Ryder Cup Captains ahead of Thomas Bjorn, Robert Karlson, and Paul Lawrie. The previous world number one is a four-time winner of Ryder Cups and deputized Bjorn in 2018 and Harrington in 2021, who missed out the Ryder Cup 2023 Captains race.

Donald committed that he will not be joining LIV Golf. However, without lingering about LIV Golf players’ availability, he is not sure if he will have the pleasure of recalling Sergio Garcia as one of the European Ryder Cup Captains -record point scorer, Lee Westwood – record appearance maker, and Ian Poulter. On the positive side, he will still have youngsters like Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Viktor Hovland.

Thomas Bjorn – European Vice Captain

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Image of Thomas Bjorn

The first move by the new 2023 European Ryder Cup captain was to confirm Edoardo Molinari and Thomas Bjorn as vice-captains. The latter was viewed as the most suited to take the mantle from Stenson because of his experience in the position. Notwithstanding, Bjorn’s wealth of experience will be critical for the team.

The Dane has featured in 8 European teams in the Ryder Cup – one time as the 2023 Ryder Cup Captain and four times as a vice-captain. His first time out as vice-captain was in 2004 at Oakland Hills. He comfortably reprised the role in 2010, 2012, and 2016.

In 2018 as the leader of Europe Ryder Cup captains, Bjorn led the European to glory in Paris. He believed that it was the last involvement in the Ryder Cup but agreed to deputize Stenson early in May. Bjorn will remain vice-captain under Donald.

Edoardo Molinari – European Vice Captain

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Image of Edourdo Molinari - Source: Facebook | Edoardo Molinari

While selecting an Italian skipper as Stenson’s replacement may have bode well with all fans, Italy’s maiden Ryder Cup seems too premature for Eduardo regarding leadership.

The forty-one-year-old was part of the 2010 European Rider Cup team at Celtic Manor with his brother Francesco. In the 14½-13½ win, Eduardo contributed 2 ½ points.

It will be the first involvement of Eduardo as vice-captain and Bjorn’s experience beside him will be pivotal to ensure the Italian is not overwhelmed by the inspired Rome crowd.

Zach Johnson – 2023 US Ryder Cup Captain

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Image of Zach Johnson - Source: Facebook | Presidents Cup

Whereas the European team is struggling to replace its captain, the US Ryder Cup Captain 2023 Zach Johnson has had a free hand in planning to cause an upset on European soil in the Rider Cup for the first time in three decades.

The last outing they emerged victorious on European soil was when Tom Watson guided the USA team to a 15-13 triumph at The Belfry against Benard Gallacher’s side in 1993.

Johnson has on two occasions served as a vice-captain – in Paris in 2018 under Jim Furyk and later at Whistling Straits under Steve Stricker. Of the five Rider Cup he has played, he has recorded one win in 2016 in Chaska Minnesota at Hazeltine National Museum.

Even though LIV Golf has had an insignificant effect on the American team at the leadership level, its impact will arguably be massive if participants from the Saudi-backed series do not participate.

The captain reported that he hopes these players will be involved. If the said players are sidelined, it will rule out Byron DeChambeau, Brroks Koepa, and Dustin Johnson, who were part of the 2021 winning team. Also sidelined will be Talor Gooch, Patrick Reed, budda Watson, Kevin Na, and Phil Mickelson.

The twelve-man team of the USA will comprise the leading six Americans on the national point list, with Johnson selecting the six captain picks at his discretion.

Steve Stricker - USA Ryder Cup Vice Captain

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Image of Steve Stricker - Source: Facebook

After the naming of Johnson to fill the US captaincy position, it was announced that his predecessor, Steve Striker, will be his assistant captain. The fifty-five-year-old received widespread approval for how he led the 2021 team.

The vice-captain brings with him the experience of playing three Ryder Cups and also serving as assistant vice-captain during the 2018 outing. Sticker is a twelve-time PGA Tour champion and part of the Champions Tour.

The veteran remains the only confirmed captain even though Tiger Woods is likely to join him in the same capacity. Johnson is also believed to be considering Mickelson but his move to join LIV golf seems to have jeopardized his chances. Other top candidates are Furyk, Matt Kuchar, and Fred Couples.

Read more to find some of the Ryder cup captains since 1970 who have been considered as best golf players of all time.

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