Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Ryder Cup 2023: Francesco Molinari named as Luke Donald’s fifth Team Europe vice captain for Rome

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Francesco Molinari has been named as Team Europe’s fifth vice captain; He joins his brother Edoardo, Thomas Bjørn, Nicolas Colsaerts and José María Olazábal; Watch the Ryder Cup live from September 30-October 2 on Sky Sports Golf

Luke Donald has named Francesco Molinari as his fifth and final vice captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome.

Italian Molinari will join Donald’s team alongside his brother Edoardo, Thomas Bjørn, Nicolas Colsaerts and José María Olazábal.

Molinari made his Ryder Cup debut back in 2010 at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales in 2010, also featuring for Team Europe for the Miracle at Medinah two years later and halving his singles match with Tiger Woods as Olazábal’s team claimed a famous 14½-13½ victory in Chicago.

He also is the the first European player to win a maximum five points from five matches as Europe reclaimed the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris in 2018 where he formed a famous partnership with Englishman Tommy Fleetwood which earned the duo the nickname ‘Moliwood’.

On being announced as vice captain, Molinari said: “I am very proud to be part of Luke’s team. I started the year hoping to be there as a player, but it is still a great honour to be there as a vice captain.

“I got a phone call from Luke asking if I was interested and obviously it was a clear answer from me. He is assembling a really good team of people.

“A lot of them are close to me in different ways. We’ve all shared the stage together already in some form and that helps when it comes to decision time and putting Luke and the players in the best conditions possible to perform at their best.

“The coolest moment I have had in the Ryder Cup was making my debut alongside Edoardo in Wales and experiencing for the first time what it meant to be part of the European Team. It is super special to be there with him again in Rome.

“It is a proud moment any time you get to put on the shirt with the European badge on it. It’s a Ryder Cup which is particularly close to my heart being played in Rome so I will do whatever I can to help Luke and the team and hopefully bring the trophy back to Europe.”

Captain Donald added: “I chose Francesco because he has a lot of experience in Ryder Cups and he is a Major winner. He has a tremendous individual career, but he is also Italian.

“I wanted him there no matter what, whether it was playing or as a vice captain. With his brother there too, I think it is going to be pretty special, having both Edoardo and Francesco on my team representing Team Europe but also representing Italy.

“Francesco is a hero in Italy. He has so much respect from the Italians for what he has done for the game of golf. Certainly that respect is also there from me too and I couldn’t be happier to round out my vice captains with him.”

Can Europe regain the Ryder Cup in Rome? Watch the biennial contest exclusively live from September 30-October 2 on Sky Sports.

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