Team Europe adds Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer as vice captains for Ryder Cup

Former Ryder Cup stalwarts Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer will join Luke Donald as vice captains for Team Europe for the biennial matches at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

Europe captain Padraig Harrington pointed to the two’s vast experience in golf and the Ryder Cup in announcing the selections Wednesday.

“Both, I believe, will bring experience, knowledge, and a great balance to the team room,” Harrington said in a statement. “They have both contributed winning points in Ryder Cup history, have been there and done it, and the other players look up to them. They both have that aura and responsibility in that what they say will have meaning.”

The 43rd matches are September 24-26. Europe is in possession of the cherished cup, having won 17½-10½ in France in 2018. Europe has won seven of the last nine matches.

USA captain Steve Stricker has named Jim Furyk, Davis Love III and Zach Johnson as vice captains. He will bring on at least one other assistant, possibly two. Among the possibilities would be Tiger Woods.

Kaymer played in four consecutive Ryder Cups starting in 2010 and delivered the clinching point when Europe stormed back from a 10-4 deficit to win in 2012 in the Miracle at Medinah. Kaymer is a two-time major champion who won his first major at the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

This will be his first vice captaincy.

“Martin is somebody I wanted as a vice captain because he has a great personality and brings a calmness, a European element, and a lot of confidence with him,” Harrington said. “The fact that he won around Whistling Straits also brings that level of authority and assurance that you need.”

Said Kaymer: “I admit it took me a while to say yes, because it’s a responsibility, and if I do something. I want to do it properly, so we talked about the role. I’m not the type of guy who is into numbers and statistics. I’m more the person talking to the guys, more of the personal stuff, a bit more of the mental side. I feel like I’m a fairly calm person when I’m playing golf and through my experience I know what they all go through, whether that’s the guys that might be playing the Ryder Cup for the first time or guys that I have played Ryder Cups with before, so I think I understand the feelings quite well.”

McDowell, who won the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, has played in four Ryder Cups. He delivered the winning point at Celtic Manor in 2010. He was an assistant captain with Harrington and Donald in 2018.

“I decided on Graeme as a vice captain a long time ago,” Harrington said. “He’s quite an authority, confident in what he’s doing and saying and knows the scene. The only reason he would not have been a vice captain was if he was going to be a player. Graeme is a strong influence and the players look up to him. When he speaks, people listen, but he doesn’t speak unless he’s got something to say.”

Said McDowell: “If you can’t play on the team, being part of the support network and the vice captaincy is the next best thing. One of our big roles is to help Padraig delegate responsibility. He’s a very intelligent guy, he’s got a lot of information in that head. From a vice captain’s point of view, helping get that out of his head and communicate it to the players, to me, is one of the roles that is extremely important to us.”


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