Thomas Bjorn names first Ryder Cup vice-captain

Thomas Bjorn

Thomas Bjorn has named fellow Scandinavian Robert Karlsson as his first vice-captain for the 2018 Ryder Cup.

On the eve of this week's Nordea Masters held in Karlsson's native Sweden, Bjorn took to Twitter to make his announcement and said he was 'delighted' to have the 47-year-old onboard.

Dubbed 'The Scientist' for his analytical approach to the game, those qualities should prove invaluable to Bjorn - although Karlsson has never been named a Ryder Cup vice-captain before.

He does, though, have experience of taking part in the biennial match. He made his Ryder Cup debut in 2006 aged 37 alongside compatriot Henrik Stenson before playing again in 2008, where he secured two half points before beating Justin Leonard 5&3 in the Sunday singles.

To get the call from Thomas was very special

- Robert Karlsson

"To get the call from Thomas was very special and I’m really looking forward to being part of the Ryder Cup again," said Karlsson. "It is a great honour to be a vice-captain and I’m very much looking forward to the next 16 months.

"I’ve played in two Ryder Cups so I have the experience of what the players will face and also have a lot of experience on the European Tour. I know the players well and I know Thomas very well too, and I will be there to do whatever he needs me to do."

Read more - Tony Jacklin raises 2018 Ryder Cup concerns

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Bjørn said: “I know from all the Ryder Cups I have been involved in that it's vital to have people around that you trust implicitly and Robert most definitely fits into that category.

“He has been one of my closest friends on Tour for many years and, not only that, he is immensely respected by all the players - both his peers and the younger guys now emerging. His playing credentials are impressive, having been a former European No.1, and he also knows the unique atmosphere of the Ryder Cup, having represented Europe both home and away.

“Robert will be a vital foil for me over the next 16 months in all aspects of our preparation, including helping analyse statistical information on players, and I know he will give me his honest opinion on everything I ask. I am delighted to have him as part of the team.”

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