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Luke Donald has added to his backroom team ahead of next year’s Ryder Cup, making Nicolas Colsaerts his third vice-captain.

The popular Belgian was one of the heroes of Europe’s remarkable Miracle at Medinah in 2012, making one of the most memorable debuts in the competition’s history.

He has also won three times on the DP World Tour, most recently in 2019, and has played more than 400 tour events.

Colsaerts joins Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari as vice-captains, and is the first appointed by Donald after he replaced Henrik Stenson.

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“My first reaction when Luke asked me was sheer joy,” he said.

“Every time I hear the words ‘Ryder Cup’, it takes me back to the edition I played in, how proud I was to wear the European colours and be part of such an unbelievable event. Of course, Luke was in that team too and when we spoke he mentioned how much he has always loved what the Ryder Cup means to me.

“Being a vice-captain is a different role to being a player but, nevertheless, my mission in 2023 will be exactly the same as it was in 2012, namely, to make a contribution to the team in any way I can.

“We already have two fantastic vice-captains in Thomas Bjørn and Edoardo Molinari and we already have a special bond between us. We are all different personalities but that is interesting because when you put us all in a room together you will have different angles, and Luke will be able to take what is best from each of us.

“When you play team sport as a youngster you are told that the most important thing is to participate and while that is true then, when you are a professional golfer in the Ryder Cup, when you wear the colours and you step onto that first tee, the only thing you want to do is to win; not only for the other guys on the team, but also for the continent you are representing. That is what we want to do in Rome.”

Colsaerts was a key part of Europe’s comeback in 2012, adding vital points – including a fourball victory alongside Lee Westwood over Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.

Speaking exclusively to bunkered.co.uk last month, he said it was “truly a miracle”.

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“Nico has been on my mind for a couple of months now to be honest,” Donald added.

“I played in the team with him in 2012 and you could just see how much it meant to him. He understands what it means to represent the European crest and what it means to be part of the Ryder Cup set-up. When I asked him, he literally had goosebumps – so I am very happy to have him as my third vice-captain.

“Nico gets along extremely well with all the guys out here on the DP World Tour and he will be a great person to help keep an eye on things here in Europe in periods when I might be in the US. There is already great communication between us – myself, Thomas, Edoardo and Nico – and I couldn’t be happier with the way my backroom team is shaping up.”

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