Luke Donald has been named as the European Captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy from 25 September to 1 October 2023.
Donald replaces Henrik Stenson who was sacked for joining LIV Golf. The Swedish golfer was stripped of the captaincy after he signed a reported £40million contract with the LIV series.
On Sunday, the 46-year-old Swede claimed a £3.3m winner's cheque with a two-stroke victory in his first LIV appearance at Bedminster in New Jersey.
Donald represented Europe in the Ryder Cup four times as a player, being part of a winning team on all four occasions, including in 2012 when he led Team Europe out in the Singles, securing the first blue point on the board in the ‘Miracle at Medinah’.
He also has served as a Vice Captain in the last two editions of the biennial contest, under Thomas Bjørn in 2018 and Pádraig Harrington last year.
The 44 year old Englishman’s impressive individual playing career includes holding the position of Number One on the Official World Golf Rankings for a total of 56 weeks, and in 2011 he became the first player in history to top the money lists on the European Tour (now the DP World Tour) and the PGA TOUR in the same year.
Donald said: “I am incredibly proud to be named European Ryder Cup Captain for 2023. It is truly one of the greatest honours that can be bestowed upon a golfer, to lead a team of your peers and be an ambassador for an entire continent.
“I feel extremely privileged to have been given that responsibility and it is a responsibility I do not take lightly.
“Some of my best experiences in golf have been in the Ryder Cup and I would not swap those for anything. It is an event like no other and I cannot wait to create more special memories in Italy next year.
“I love everything the Ryder Cup embodies, from the camaraderie and companionship of being part of a team, to the history of the contest, but most of all playing for something bigger than yourself.
“Rome will be a fantastic host city, and I have always enjoyed spending time there. It is a city rich in history and hopefully we can create some of our own in 14 months’ time.”
Guy Kinnings, the European Ryder Cup Director, said: “Luke is a former World Number One who possesses a superb Ryder Cup record, so he undoubtedly has the credentials required to be a successful European Captain.
“He is hugely respected by the players and by the wider support team at Ryder Cup Europe who have already done an immense amount of work behind the scenes to give him a strong platform for the remaining 14 months before the match gets underway.
“We have continued the tradition of moving forward with players in the role of Captain who have excelled in the Ryder Cup arena; and in terms of Luke, we are combining that experience with strong leadership and a meticulous approach. On behalf of everyone at Ryder Cup Europe, we look forward to fully supporting him in the quest to reclaim the Ryder Cup next year.”
Donald has wasted little time in ensuring continuity in the key backroom area of Team Europe, confirming that both existing Vice Captains – Thomas Bjørn and Edoardo Molinari – will continue in their respective positions.
“In my opinion, it was essential that Thomas and Edoardo remained part of the team. They were the first two calls I made once I got the nod to be Captain and I’m delighted that they are fully on-board.
“Nobody needs any explanation of how important Thomas is to the Ryder Cup – one glance at the history books will show you that. He has lived and breathed European golf for the past 30 years and having his know-how behind me, not least as a winning Captain, will be vital.
“Furthermore, Edoardo has blazed an impressive trail for himself in the world of stats and his knowledge in this area with the players who will be on the team, in addition to extra-special Italian element he will bring to the entire occasion, is an extra bonus for Team Europe.”