Here is a breakdown of European captain Paul McGinley‘s 12-man roster for the 40th Ryder Cup, which will be played Sept. 26-28 in Gleneagles, Scotland. The Europeans are the reigning champion, having won, 14 1/2-13 1/2 at Medinah Country Club in 2012.
World ranking: 1
The lowdown: The world’s best player, McIlroy likely will be sent out in all five sessions. Traditionally, he’s partnered with Graeme McDowell in team play, but Sergio Garcia could form a new dynamic duo.
Record: 2-3-2 (3rd appearance)
World ranking: 3
PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 4/8 (7)
The lowdown: After a remarkable 2013 season, the Swede has done everything but win this year, posting six top-5 finishes, including at last month’s PGA.
World ranking: 21
PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 0/1
The lowdown: The mysterious Frenchman did most of his damage in the early part of the European Tour’s wraparound schedule, winning the Turkish Airlines Open and finishing third in the DP World Tour Championship. U.S. fans recall his all-world scrambling ability in the WGC-Match Play final.
World ranking: 28
PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 0/3
The lowdown: In a last-ditch effort to make the team, the Welshman added the Czech Masters to his schedule, then rallied on the final day to win. He also finished T-2 at Doral and posted back-to-back top-10s in July.
Record: 16-8-4 (7th appearance)
World ranking: 4
PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 8/11
The lowdown: Since April, the Spaniard has five top-3 finishes worldwide, including a run of three consecutive runners-up on the PGA Tour (Travelers, British Open, Bridgestone).
Record: 6-3-0 (3rd appearance)
World ranking: 5
PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 6/7 (5)
The lowdown: A top-25 machine, the Englishman won back-to-back events in July (Quicken Loans, Scottish Open), though he failed to record a top-10 in a major this season.
Record: 3-2-0 (3rd appearance)
World ranking: 12
PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 3/11 (8)
The lowdown: It’s been a tale of two seasons for the German. He scored huge victories at The Players and U.S. Open, but those represent his only top-10s since last November.
Record: 3-2-1 (3rd appearance)
World ranking: 26
PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 0/15
The lowdown: One of the most consistent performers on the Euro Tour this season, Bjorn had top-10s at two of the biggest tournaments he played, the Masters (T-8) and BMW PGA (T-3).
Record: 5-5-2 (4th appearance)
World ranking: 16
PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 2/10 (9)
The lowdown: Five consecutive top-10s this summer, including a come-from-behind victory at the French Open, sealed his spot on the team. He earned the last spot via qualifying, despite sitting out the final week to be with his wife and newborn daughter.
Record: 18-13-6 (9th appearance)
World ranking: 38
PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 2/23
The lowdown: With a few newcomers on the squad, it’ll be calming to have Westwood in the team room, as this is the Englishman’s ninth career appearance. He hasn’t displayed the best form lately, but he had top-7s at the Masters and The Players, with a Malaysian Open victory mixed in. Top-20s at Bridgestone and PGA helped, too.
Record: 12-3-0 (5th appearance)
World ranking: 36
PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 2/12 (10)
The lowdown: It’s been a forgettable, injury-plagued season for the Englishman, but his fearsome match-play record – and his heroics from 2012 – essentially reserved him a spot on the team.
World ranking: 33
PGA Tour/European Tour victories: 0/3
The lowdown: Nearly qualified on his own, finishing third in Italy when a T-2 finish was required. Still, his eight top-10s this season were the most of any player on the European Tour, and his history with Gleneagles (lives 40 kilometers away, lost in a playoff there last year) made Paul McGinley’s decision an easy one.