• Thomas Bjorn named European captain for 2018 Ryder Cup
• Becomes just fourth Continental Euro to lead the side
• Meanwhile, US captain could also be named this week
The Dane was this morning confirmed as the successor to Darren Clarke and will lead Europe into the 2018 match with the USA at Le Golf National.
He will be charged with wrestling back the Ryder Cup from the USA, following Europe’s 17-11 defeat at Hazeltine in September.
“It’s a huge honour for me to be named European captain for The 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris,” Bjorn told the Ryder Cup Europe website. This is one of the greatest days in my career.
“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.
“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. I’m very much looking forward to taking on this task.”
Thomas Bjorn becomes just the fourth Continental European to hold the position, following Seve Ballesteros – who captained in 1997 when Bjorn made the first of his three appearances in the match – Bernhard Langer and Jose Maria Olazabal.
The 45-year-old also featured in 2002 and, most recently, in 2014 at Gleneagles. He has a 3-4-2 record in the biennial contest and has also served as an assistant captain on four separate occasions.
Since turning professional in 1993, Thomas Bjorn has become a stalwart of the European Tour, winning 15 times. His first title came in the Loch Lomond World Invitational in September 1996. He won most recently in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2013.
He has played in 57 majors, racking up eight top tens. He looked a certainty to win the 2003 Open, where he led by two at Royal St George’s with three holes to play. However, he infamously took three attempts to get out of a greenside bunker on the par-3 16th to hand the Claret Jug to Ben Curtis.
With Thomas Bjorn confirmed as the European skipper, the focus of attention now shifts to who the USA will name as their captain.
The US Ryder Cup committee is believed to be meeting this week, with PGA of America officials, as well as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III (above) and Rickie Fowler all set to discuss the 2018 match.
“I will not do it again unless they twist my arm” – Davis Love III
Davis Love III has poured cold water on suggestions that he might take the reins again, saying that he will “not do it again unless they twist my arm”.
Jim Furyk is thought to be in the frame to take over, with David Toms and Steve Stricker also in the frame.
However, don’t be surprised to see Fred Couples, above, get the nod.
The 1991 Masters champion would be days removed from his 59th birthday by the time the next Ryder Cup gets underway but he remains an immensely popular figure amongst his peers.
The five-time Ryder Cup player also has a proven pedigree as a captain, having led the US to Presidents Cup glory three times on the spin (2009, 2011 and 2013).
What do you make of the decision to appoint Thomas Bjorn as the European captain for the 2018 Ryder Cup? Good move? Bad move? Leave your thoughts in our ‘Comments’ section below.