Thomas Bjorn named Europe Ryder Cup captain for 2018


Thomas Bjorn

Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn will captain Europe at the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris.

The 45-year-old will be only the fourth man from outside the British Isles to lead the team, after Spanish duo Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal, and Germany’s Bernhard Langer.

Bjorn, who has been vice-captain four times, was chosen ahead of 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie.

As a player, he was a Ryder Cup winner in 1997, 2002 and 2014, and has won 15 European tour titles.

“I have lived and breathed the European Tour for so long, and now I will do the same with the Ryder Cup for the next two years,” said Bjorn.

“I studied a lot of captains as a player and as a vice-captain and always wondered what that feeling would be like to be the one leading out a team of 12 great players.

“Now it’s my turn to do just that and it is an exciting moment for me.”

Bjorn succeeds Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke as Europe’s non-playing captain.

USA won the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2008 with a 17-11 victory at Hazeltine in October.

Masters champion Danny Willett, part of the beaten Europe team, told BBC Radio 5 live: “Thomas is a well-respected man in our game and on the European Tour.

“From what I saw from him as vice-captain, he will make a fantastic captain.”

The 2018 Ryder Cup will take place at the Paris National from 28-30 September.

Analysis

BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter

To his peers, Bjorn is regarded as ‘Mr European Tour’. A player of distinction, he has been an influential chairman of the Tournament Committee since 2007. This appointment is due reward for his service to the Tour.

His experience from playing on three winning Ryder Cup teams will be invaluable, and having been an assistant to the likes of Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Jose Maria Olazabal and Darren Clarke he will have gained a wealth of knowledge to take to Paris in 2018.

On the flip side, Bjorn led a strong Continental Europe side to a heavy defeat to GB & Ireland in the 2009 Seve Trophy.

He is a fiery character, as he showed with a furious response to being left out of the 2006 Ryder Cup team by Ian Woosnam. But there is no more passionate advocate of European golf than Bjorn and he was always the most likely choice for the 2018 captaincy.

Source: www.bbc.com