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updated: 9/24/2012 3:29 PM

Facts & figures on Team Europe

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  • 2012 European Ryder Cup captain Jose Mar̀a Olazabal has reason to be confident. His team is the defending champion.

      2012 European Ryder Cup captain Jose Mar̀a Olazabal has reason to be confident. His team is the defending champion.
    Associated Press

  • The Europe Ryder Cup golf team, top row from left: Nicolas Colsaerts, of Belgium; Luke Donald, of England; Sergio Garcia, of Spain; Peter Hanson of Sweden; Martin Kaymer, of Germany, and Paul Lawrie, of Scotland. Bottom row, from left: Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland; Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland; Francesco Molinari, of Italy; Ian Poulter, of England; Justin Rose, of England, and Lee Westwood, of England.

      The Europe Ryder Cup golf team, top row from left: Nicolas Colsaerts, of Belgium; Luke Donald, of England; Sergio Garcia, of Spain; Peter Hanson of Sweden; Martin Kaymer, of Germany, and Paul Lawrie, of Scotland. Bottom row, from left: Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland; Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland; Francesco Molinari, of Italy; Ian Poulter, of England; Justin Rose, of England, and Lee Westwood, of England.
    Associated Press/file

 
Daily Herald Report

Here's a quick glance at the 12 players representing Team Europe in the 2012 Ryder Cup, with rankings and earnings through Sept. 23:

Rory McIlroy

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Born: 5-4-89

Residence: Holywood, Northern Ireland

European Ryder Cup points: 1st

Ryder Cup record: 1-1-2

Career victories: 8

Career earnings: $13,357,560

World ranking: 1st

2012 victories: Honda Classic, PGA Championship, Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship

2012 Majors: Masters-T40, US Open-Cut, British Open-T60, PGA Championship-1

Backspin: The world's No. 1-ranked player is coming off an eight-stroke win at the PGA Championship last month. The youngest player for Team Europe, McIlroy also scored a rousing eight-shot victory at the 2011 U.S. Open after blowing a big lead after three rounds in the 2011 Masters. Off the course McIlroy has been linked with Poland's Caroline Wozniacki, one of the world's best tennis players.

Justin Rose

Born: 7-30-80

Residence: London, England

European Ryder Cup points: 2nd

Ryder Cup record: 3-1-0

Career victories: 4

Career earnings: $21,131,617

World ranking: 5th

2012 victories: Cadillac Championship

2012 Majors: Masters-T8, US Open-T21, British Open-Cut, PGA Championship-T3

Backspin: He was the last champion on a PGA Tour event at Cog Hill in Lemont when he won the BMW Championship, one of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoff events, last September. Rose burst onto the world golf season when he holed a shot from the round on the last hole to tie for fourth in the 1998 British Open when he was just 17. He defeated Phil Mickelson in singles at Valhalla in 2008.

Paul Lawrie

Born:

Residence: Aberdeen, Scotland

European Ryder Cup points: 3rd

Ryder Cup record: 3-1-1

Career victories: 8

Career earnings: $12,430,100

World ranking: 27

2012 victories: Qatar Masters, Johnnie Walker Championship

2012 Majors: Masters-T24, US Open-DNP, British Open-T34, PGA Championship-T48

Backspin: It has been 13 years since his inaugural Ryder Cup at Brookline, the second-longest gap in history. Skipped the U.S. Open to improve his chances of making the team. Won twice this year. The champion at the Johnnie Walker tourney last month, Lawrie is best known for winning a wild playoff in the 1990 British Open. His putting has been inconsistent this summer.

Graeme McDowell

Born: 7-30-79

Residence: Portrush, Northern Ireland

European Ryder Cup points: 4th

Ryder Cup record: 4-2-2

Career victories: 8

Career earnings: $18,884,614

World ranking: 18th

2012 victories: none

2012 Majors: Masters-T12, US Open-T2, British Open-T5, PGA Championship-T11

Backspin: He went to college in the United States, at Alabama-Birmingham, and his career highlight so far has been his victory in the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He was the first European golfer in 40 years to win the U.S. Open. One of three Europeans who has not won this year. He also might be one of the stronger players, considering his record of contending in the majors this year.

Francesco Molinari

Born: 11-8-82

Residence: Turin, Italy and London

European Ryder Cup points: 5th

Ryder Cup record: 0-2-1

Career victories: 5

Career earnings: $11,812,212

World ranking: 31

2012 victories: Spanish Open

2012 Majors: Masters-T19, US Open-T29, British Open-T39, PGA Championship-T54

Backspin: Molinari has been in three playoffs in European Tour events and didn't win any of them. He's a very consistent player, though. This year he was one of the few players to make the cut in all four major championships. He earned only a half-point in the last Ryder Cup and was drilled by Tiger Woods in singles. He can be dangerous in this format because of his accuracy off the tee.

Luke Donald

Born: 12-7-77

Residence: Hemel Hemstead, England and Evanston IL

World points list: 2nd

Ryder Cup record: 8-2-1

Career victories: 11

Career earnings: $40,403,958

World ranking: 3rd

2012 victories: Transitions Championship, BMW PGA Championship

2012 Majors: Masters-T32, US Open-Cut, British Open-T5, PGA Championship-T32

Backspin: He may be playing for the enemy at Medinah, but he also is the only player in the Ryder Cup with a Chicago connection. The world's No. 2-ranked player, Donald played collegiately at Northwestern and has been a huge supporter of the Wildcats' golf program. He was world No. 1 for 55 weeks until McIlroy passed him at August's PGA Championship. He has never lost a foursomes match in six tries.

Lee Westwood

Born: 4-24-73

Residence: Worksop, England

World points list: 4th

Ryder Cup record: 16-11-6

Career victories: 38

Career earnings: $35,616,360

World ranking: 4th

2012 victories: Indonesia Masters, Scandinavian Masters

2012 Majors: Masters-T3, US Open-T10, British Open-T45, PGA Championship-Cut

Backspin: A former world No. 1, Westwood could be vulnerable at Medinah. Frustrated by his inability to win one of golf's majors, Westwood fired both his swing coach and caddie after missing the cut at the PGA Championship. He ended Tiger Woods' long reign as world No. 1 in 2010 and has won tournaments on every continent. Westwood has played for Team Europe in the last seven Ryder Cups.

Sergio Garcia

Born: 1-9-80

Residence: Borriol, Spain

World points list: 7th

Ryder Cup record: 14-6-4

Career victories: 21

Career earnings: $41,133,345

World ranking: 19

2012 victories: Wyndham Championship

2012 Majors: Masters-T12, US Open-T38, British Open-Cut, PGA Championship-Cut

Backspin: Garcia has been a mainstay for Europe in the Ryder Cup and comes into this one playing well. He won the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship and finished third at The Barclays in a two-week span in August. Garcia was runner-up in the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah, losing to Tiger Woods. His shot off a tree stump with his eyes closed on Medinah's 16th has been replayed countless times.

Peter Hanson

Born: 4-10-77

Residence: Trelleborg, Sweden

World points list: 9th

Ryder Cup record: 1-2-0

Career victories: 5

Career earnings: $12,829,073

World ranking: 25th

2012 victories: Dutch Open

2012 Majors: Masters-T3, US Open-Cut, British Open-T23, PGA Championship-T7

Backspin: His professional career has been almost entirely in Europe, where he's won four times. He's played well in this year's majors, finishing tied for third in the Masters and tied for seventh in the PGA. Split his matches at Wales with Miguel Angel Jimenez, and lost to Phil Mickelson in singles.

Martin Kaymer

Born: 12-28-84

Residence: Mettman, Germany

World points list: 10th

Ryder Cup record: 2-1-1

Career victories: 10

Career earnings: $16,021,660

World ranking: 32

2012 victories: none

2012 Majors: Masters-T44, US Open-T15, British Open-Cut, PGA Championship-Cut

Backspin: Like Westwood, Kaymer is a former world No. 1 but he's had a down year and didn't even play at the Johnnie Walker Championship, the last of Europe's Ryder Cup qualifying events. His career highlight was winning the 2010 PGA Championship at Wisconsin's Whistling Straits course. He earned that title with a playoff win over reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson.

Ian Poulter

Born: 1-10-76

Residence: Buckinhamshire, England and Orlando, Fla.

Ryder Cup ranking: captain's pick

Ryder Cup record: 8-3-0

Career victories: 13

Career earnings: $25,120,217

World ranking: 24

2012 victories: noon

2012 Majors: Masters-7, US Open-T41, British Open-T9, PGA Championship-T3.

Backspin: A proven match player competitor, Poulter is known for his colorful attire. Though he now lives in Orlando, Fla., he has 11 wins on the European PGA Tour and has played for Team Europe in three Ryder Cups. He was the leading point-getter for both teams in the 2008 Ryder Cup when he had four. Not so surprisingly, his game appears to be rounding into form as the Ryder Cup nears.

Nicolas Colsaerts

Born: 11-14-82

Residence: Brussels, Belgium

Ryder Cup ranking: captain's pick

Ryder Cup record: rookie

Career victories: 2

Career earnings: $5,310,613

World ranking: 35th

2012 victories: World Match Play Championship

2012 Majors: Masters-Cut, US Open-T27, British Open-T7, PGA Championship-Cut

Backspin: The only rookie on the European team, Colsaerts will be the first player from Belgium to play in the Ryder Cup. One of the longest hitters in Europe, Colsaerts is known as "The Muscles from Brussels." He earned his berth on the team with strong finishes in the Wyndham Championship and Johnnie Walker in successive weeks with across-the-pond traveling in between.

• Len Ziehm and Doug Ferguson of The Associated Press contributed.

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