Relying on a healthy blend of youth and experience, Luke Donald was forced to make some tough decisions with his six captain's picks for the 2023 Ryder Cup.
With the Europeans not having lost on home soil since 1993, Team USA will be hellbent on setting the record straight, but you can bet your house on the fact Donald and his men won't go down without a fight.
Everyone knows you shouldn't go into battle without any weapons, so with that in mind, here's a full list of what's in the bag for all 12 members of Team Europe.
Rory McIlroy WITB Ryder Cup 2023
If Europe are to beat Team USA, they will need Rory McIlroy firing on all cylinders. The Northern Irishman had a disappointing run out in 2021 at Whistling Straights, and he'll be hoping to right those wrongs when he tees off at the Marco Simone course later this month.
On his A game, few players can stop him, and if he can get his putter to heat up, he will be an absolute force to be reckoned with. The longest driver of the ball on the PGA Tour this year, McIlroy has enough firepower to overpower almost any golf course in the world, but it's typically the wedges and putter that do the damage in match play, so let's hope his short game is in tip-top shape when he lands in Rome.
With two wins on the PGA Tour this season, McIlroy already has a taste for victory, but you would imagine his hunger won't be satisfied without a Ryder Cup win on home soil.
Having won half of his 24 Ryder Cup matches, he will be hoping to tip the scales this year and walk away with a winning record and a fifth Ryder Cup to his name.
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (9 degrees @7.5; Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6 X)
3-Wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15 degrees @13; Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 8 X)
5-Wood: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (19 degrees @17.5; Fujikura Ventus Black 9 X)
Irons: TaylorMade P760 (4), TaylorMade Rors Proto (5-9) Project X 7.0 (4-9)
Wedges: TaylorMade MG4 (46-09SB, 50-09SB, 54-11SB, TaylorMade MG3 (60-07RM) Project X 6.5, Project X 6.5 Wedge (60)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Jon Rahm WITB Ryder Cup 2023:
Another key figure for Team Europe, Jon Rahm, will likely be the cornerstone of any success Europe is going to have in Rome.
The Spaniard has four and a half points from the eight matches he's played in the event and was one of the team's only shining lights from 2021 at Whistling Straights, managing to win three and a half points from a possible five.
Rahm has had a tremendous year, winning one major at The Masters and a further three PGA titles. With few weaknesses and a steely temperament, he will undoubtedly be feared by the Americans and on his day, he can be almost unstoppable.
Having regularly been paired with fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia in 2021, Rahm will be hoping to forge an equally as effective partnership with someone new this year. Will Donald go fire with fire and play him with Hatton, or will a cooler head be chosen, the likes of Hovland or Rose?
Driver: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (10.5 degrees; Aldila Tour Green ATX 75 2.8 TX)
3-Wood: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond T (High Launch, 16 degrees @15.1; Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 X)
5-Wood: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond T (18 degrees; Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 X)
Irons: Callaway Apex UT (21 degrees), Callaway Apex TCB (4-PW) KBS Tour Hybrid Prototype 105 X (21), Project X 6.5 (4-PW)
Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (52-10, 56-12 @55.25, 60-10) Project X 125 6.5
Putter: Odyssey White Hot Rossie S
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X
Viktor Hovland WITB Ryder Cup 2023
Making his second Ryder Cup appearance, Hovland fills the third spot of Europe's 'Big Three', who will all need to contribute heavily in order for the team to avoid defeat.
Thankfully, he is in red-hot form, following back-to-back victories at the final two events of the PGA Tour season. The seemingly ever-smiling Norwegian showed glimpses of what he's capable of at Whistling Straights but will be hoping to dramatically improve on his 0-3-2 record in Rome.
As good a ball striker as there has ever been, Hovland's chipping used to be the main chink in his armour, however, plenty of practice in the off-season has seen him put those old issues to bed, and he's a far more complete player now than he was in 2021.
We expect big things from Hovland, and we can see him becoming somewhat of a crowd favourite in Rome thanks to his effortless likability and outstanding ability.
Driver: PING G425 LST (9 degrees @8.4; Fujikura Speeder 661 TR X)
3-Wood: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (15 degrees @ 16.5: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 X)
Irons: Titleist U505 (3), Ping i210 (4-PW) Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 85 X (3), KBS Tour-V 120 X (4-PW)
Wedges: PING Glide 4.0 (50-SS, 56-SS), Ping Glide 2.0 (60-TS) KBS Tour-V 120 X (50-56), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (60)
Putter: PING PLD DS 72 prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Tyrrell Hatton WITB Ryder Cup 2023
Love him or hate him, Tyrrell Hatton embodies everything the crowds want to see at a Ryder Cup. Outbursts, clutch putts, and pinpoint iron shots are his bread and butter, so it's likely we will see all three in Rome.
Coming off a very solid season, Hatton managed seven top-10 finishes, eventually finishing a very respectable 16th in the FedEx Cup rankings. Statistically, the 9th best putter on Tour and also one of the best scramblers, he has all of the tools at his disposal to be a nightmare matchup for anyone on Team USA.
Making his third appearance in the team event, Hatton will likely see lots of game time at Marco Simone, which gives him a great opportunity to improve on what is a relatively average record of 2-3-1.
Driver: PING G430 LST (10.5 degrees @9.5; Mitsubishi Diamana TB 80 TX)
3-Wood: PING G430 Max (15 degrees @14; Mitsubishi Diamana DF 80 TX)
7-Wood: PING G430 Max (21 degrees @19.5; Mitsubishi Diamana DF 80 TX)
Irons: PING i230 Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 120 X
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 (50-12S, 54-12S), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60-T) Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 120 X (50), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (54), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (60)
Putter: PING PLD Prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Matt Fitzpatrick WITB Ryder Cup 2023
Yet to win a point in golf's most prestigious team event, Fitzpatrick has a real point to prove in Rome. The Englishman's game has come on leaps and bounds since 2021 thanks partly to a bulk-up that has seen him become much more of a force off the tee.
One of the best putters in the world, Fitzpatrick has all the tools at his disposal to not only break his duck in the competition but also establish himself as one of the most feared players on the European team.
We would like to see Fitzy paired up with McIlroy in at least one session. His putting, combined with McIlroy's distance and accuracy off the tee, could be a match made in heaven, and if it works, it could be utilised with great effect for many years to come.
Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees; Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Orange 65 TX)
3-Wood: Cobra Aerojet (15 degrees @14; Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Orange 70 TX)
Hybrid: Titleist TSR1 (20 degrees), Titleist TSR2 (21 degrees) Mitsubishi Tensei 1K White 80 HY TX, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 90 HY TX
Irons: PING i210 (4), PING S55 (5-PW) PING CFS
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (52-12F, 56-08M), Vokey Design Wedge Works (60-T) True Temper Dynamic Gold 120 X100, True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue (56, 60)
Putter: Bettinardi BB1 Fitz
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Robert MacIntyre WITB Ryder Cup 2023
Clinching the final automatic qualification spot on Team Europe, Robert Macintyre is all set for his rookie appearance in the prestigious team competition.
The Scotsman battled hard for his place after an up-and-down season on the DP World Tour, in which he claimed six top-10 finishes, including a dramatic 2nd place at the Scottish Open, in which he pushed Rory McIlroy all the way to the final hole.
Despite his lack of Ryder Cup experience, MacIntyre does know how it feels to win at the Marco Simone Course, having won the Italian Open there in 2022. With few members of the American team having played the course before, it should give him a slight edge come game time.
Driver: Titleist TSi3 (8 degrees; Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7 X)
3-Wood: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (15 degrees; Mitsubishi Tensei 1K White 80 TX)
Hybrid: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Rescue (19 degrees; Graphite Design Tour AD DI 105 X)
Irons: TaylorMade P7MC (4-PW) True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (50-08F, 56-10S), Vokey Design WedgeWorks (60-T) True Temper Dynamic Gold Onyx X100 (50), Dynamic Gold Onyx S400 (56-60)
Putter: Scotty Cameron T5.5 Proto
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Tommy Fleetwood WITB Ryder Cup 2023
Looking to repeat his famous 2018 Ryder Cup display, Fleetwood will sadly be without the other half of Moliwood this time. Francesco Molinari missed out on selection this year despite it being in his homeland, but he will be present as a non-playing vice-captain, so we will undoubtedly get to see one or two warm embraces over the weekend.
It's been a bittersweet year for Fleetwood. Despite a string of outstanding results on the PGA Tour and in majors, including T5 at the US Open, T3 at the Valspar and an agonising play-off defeat at the Canadian Open, he is still yet to register a win in America.
Finishing in the top-10 in six of his last eight tournaments means Europe will be getting a red-hot Fleetwood and one that, as we've seen in the past, can do real damage when he's in the mood.
Could we see him team up with Ludvig Aberg? We're all in on the Fleetberg.
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (9 degrees @9.75) Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6 X
Mini driver: TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver (13.5 degrees @12) Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6 X
5-Wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 (18 degrees) Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 80 XTS X
Irons: TaylorMade P7TW (3-PW) Project X 125 6.5
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (52-M, 60-T) True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro 3
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x pix
Sepp Straka WITB Ryder Cup 2023
First announcing himself to Luke Donald as a potential pick for the Ryder Cup in February of last year when he won the Honda Classic, Sepp Straka followed up his win with two second-place finishes at the FedEx St Jude and the Sanderson Farms.
A series of missed cuts followed his hot patch, which saw him slide down the world points list, but thanks to a fantastic end to his 2023 season, which saw him finish second at The Open and first at the John Deere Classic, Straka managed to reignite his chances of selection, and Donald was clearly paying close attention, with the Austrian being selected over a number of inform DP World Tour players.
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (9 degrees Mitsubishi Kai’Li White 60 TX)
3-Wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 (15 degrees; Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Orange 80 TX)
7-Wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 (21 degrees; Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Orange 80 TX)
Irons: Srixon ZX7 (4-9) True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Cleveland ZipCore RTX 6 Tour Rack (52-MID 10, 56-FULL 12, 60-FULL 12) True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (52, 56, 60)
Putter: Odyssey Tuttle Stroke Lab
Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond
Justin Rose WITB Ryder Cup 2023
With a whole host of European stalwarts deciding to sacrifice their Ryder Cup chances for the mega-money of the LIV Tour, one stood resolute. That man is Justin Rose. The former Olympic and US Open Champion held firm and resisted temptation, and it has certainly paid off for him.
Not only did he break a four-year drought by winning at Pebble Beach on the PGA Tour, but he also worked his way back into contention for the Ryder Cup, an event he has regularly described as one the best experiences of his life.
Justin Rose has seen it all when it comes to Ryder Cups, so he will be a vital cog in Luke Donald's machine and one that can keep a cool head not only on the course but also in the team room.
He is likely to take on a mentor role in this year's event, so don't be surprised to see him paired up with one of the rookies in Rome.
Driver: TaylorMade M3 440 (9 degrees @7.5; Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70 TX)
3-Wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees; Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 80 TX)
5-wood: TaylorMade M6 (18 degrees; Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 80 TX)
Irons: Cobra King CB (4-6); Cobra King MB (7-PW) Project X 125 6.5
Wedges: TaylorMade MG4 (52-09SB, 56-08LB, 60-09SBC)
Putter: Axis1 Rose
Ball: Titleist Pro V1 Left Dot
Shane Lowry WITB Ryder Cup 2023
Never one to shy away from a big moment, Shane Lowry has all of the characteristics and traits to be a future Ryder Cup legend. He's made clear his love for the tournament, and his passion for it was obvious for everyone to see when he sank the winning putt to beat Tony Finau and Harris English in the Saturday afternoon fourballs in 2021.
Despite not being able to recapture the same form that saw him win The Open in 2019, Lowry has shown flashes of brilliance, including a T3 at The Masters and a win at the BMW PGA Championship in 2022.
With a raucous European crowd at his back, the Irishman will have the wind in his sails on his voyage to get revenge for Whistling Straights.
Driver: Srixon ZX5 MKII (9.5 degrees; Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana D+ White 70 TX)
3-Wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Titanium (15 degrees; Project X HZRDUS Smoke Blue 80 TX)
5-wood: TaylorMade M5 (19 degrees; Graphite Design Tour AD DI-8X)
Utility: Srixon ZX Utility (20 degrees; Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120)
Irons: Srixon ZX5 (4-5) Srixon ZX7 (6-PW) KBS Tour 130 X
Wedges: Cleveland ZipCore RTX 6 Tour Rack (50-MID-10, 58-Custom-08) KBS Tour Wedge X Custom Series Black
Putter: Odyssey Stroke lab Exo 2-Ball
Ball: Srixon Z-Star Tour Series
Nicolai Hojgaard WITB Ryder Cup 2023
The youngest member of Team Europe at 22, Nicolai Hojgaard will hopefully be able to produce the same youthful fearlessness that he used to conquer the Marco Simone course in 2021 when he won the Italian Open there.
The young Dane has two DP World Tour titles to his name, and his recent form is what would have likely solidified his place in Donald's team, with three top-10 finishes coming in his last four events.
With Europe currently going through a transition phase, Hojgaard will have undoubtedly been earmarked as a future mainstay in the team, so getting him in early could prove to be a masterstroke from Donald.
As unlikely as it is, there is a small part of us that would love to see Hojgaard team up with the next young sensation on this list.
Driver: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (10.5 degrees; Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei White AV 70X)
5-Wood: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (18 degrees; Fujikura Ventus Red)
7-Wood: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (20 degrees; Fujikura Ventus Red)
Utility: Callaway x21 (20 degrees; Project X LZ 7.0)
Irons: Callaway Apex MB (4-10) Project X LZ 7.0)
Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (50) Callaway Jaws Full Toe (56 & 60) Project X LZ 6.5
Putter: Odyssey Jailbird Versa
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X
Ludvig Aberg WITB Ryder Cup 2023
The selection of Ludvig Aberg for Team Europe undoubtedly raised the most eyebrows. With experienced DP World Tour players like Adrian Meronk missing out, Donald has made a bold move in selecting a player who only turned pro in June of this year.
Only a month ago, Aberg's chances of selection were fairly slim, but the young Swede was clearly keen to make up Donald's mind for him and proceeded to win The Omega European Masters on only his second DP World Tour start as a professional.
Undeniably talented, the former No.1 amateur in the world has been incredibly impressive in the few tournament appearances he has made on both sides of the pond. One stat that will have undoubtedly interested Donald will be that Aberg leads the PGA Tour for strokes gained statistics off the tee since his debut, and with the rough looking particularly thick at Marco Simone, that could be a key weapon for beating the Americans.
Driver: Titleist TSR2 (9 degrees; Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X)
3-Wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 (15 degrees; Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 8 X shaft)
Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (2-iron) Titleist T100 2019 (4-PW) KBS Tour 130 X (4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (50°-08° F Grind, 54°-10° S Grind) Titleist Vokey Design 2022 Proto (60°-09° V Grind) KBS Tour 130 X
Putter: Odyssey White Hot Versa #1.
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x