“Felt like a lifetime achievement award” – Luke Donald felt 'very surreal' on being named in European Ryder Cup team

Luke Donald’s Ryder Cup
Luke Donald on Ryder Cup Team Europe (Image via Getty)

Luke Donald is excited to lead the European Ryder Cup team to victory. The 45-year-old English golfer has been acing his role since being inducted as the team captain in August 2022. The golfer has now revealed that the bestowing of the team’s captaincy on him felt like a “lifetime achievement award.”

In a Q&A ahead of the 44th edition of the Ryder Cup, he recalled the “very surreal moment” of being announced as Team Europe’s captain. Describing what it’s like to lead the squad, Donald said that he considers it a “privilege.”

The Englishman said that he doesn’t take the role lightly and has been working specifically around his role for the last few months. Replying to a query on how it felt like being announced as the European team captain, Luke Donald said (as quoted by Golfweek):

“It was a very surreal moment. It felt like a lifetime achievement award when I found out that I was given the honor and privilege to be nominated as captain. It is something that I do not take lightly. I think about it every day and more specifically around what we can do to give our team the best chance of success and to build that right culture and environment.
"I think that it (upcoming Ryder Cup) is going to be a great week for me, for my family and everyone who knows me. Everyone knows how special The Ryder Cup has been as part of my career, and this is an opportunity of a lifetime. I am excited and engaged in every kind of possible way to provide the team with that edge over what will be a very strong U.S. Team.”

Donald even recalled his side’s worst loss and addressed the lessons he took away from it.

The ace golfer noted the European team’s infamous loss at The Ryder Cup 2020 and said that it’s now his “opportunity” to try and turn the results around. The Englishman noted that he will be working hard while also enjoying the journey.

Luke Donald’s Ryder Cup team

The US haven’t won on European soil in a while. They have faced back-to-back losses to Team Europe outside their home turf at the event.

European captain Luke Donald, who wishes to keep the trend going, seems to have planned accordingly. The veteran Englishman surprised many as he announced the team roster with a mix of experience and youth.

Here's the complete roster for Team Europe:

  • Rory McIlroy (qualifier)
  • Jon Rahm (qualifier)
  • Matt Fitzpatrick (qualifier)
  • Viktor Hovland (qualifier)
  • Tyrrell Hatton (qualifier)
  • Robert MacIntyre (qualifier)
  • Tommy Fleetwood (selection)
  • Sepp Straka (selection)
  • Justin Rose (selection)
  • Shane Lowry (selection)
  • Nicolai Hojaard (selection)
  • Ludvig Aberg (selection)

Donald faced some criticism for picking the likes of rookies Hojaard and Aberg over several experienced names.

The captain even dropped Ryder Cup record holders like Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter to make way for the young blood. It will be interesting to see how the team performs against Zach Johnson's US team.

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Edited by Vishnu Mohan
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