"Jon (Rham, ed.) can count on a playing partner with similar passion and fire: Tyrrell (Hatton, ed.) is up to the task." The captain of Team Europe at the Ryder Cup, Luke Donald, explains the meaning of his choices for the pairings in view of the start of tomorrow's race.
"They're fearless. They're motivated. They have a lot of energy and everyone feels like they're playing well, so I'm very excited."
Luke Donald, statements
Donald added that he will use "all 12 of his players on opening day." This means Scotland's Robert MacIntyre and Denmark's Nicolai Hojgaard will make their first Ryder Cup appearances in the afternoon fourball.
Although his father was Scottish, Luke Donald was born in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire (therefore he defines himself as half-Scottish). He began playing with his brother, who soon became his caddy. He immediately began winning his first tournaments at the age of 15.
He attended the Royal Grammar School (High Wycombe) in his youth. He soon migrated to America to study at the Prospects College of America, under the orders of golfer Martin Laird. He quickly made a name for himself, so much so that the major American colleges wanted him on their team in exchange for a scholarship.
He was also accepted into Stanford, but was unable to get in due to problems unrelated to golf. He therefore "fell back" to Northwestern University in AD 1997, where he studied art, and where he even joined a fraternity. Under coach Pat Goss he won the NCAA Division I singles title in 1999, breaking Tiger Woods' record.
On 29 May 2011, after Virginia Waters' victory at the BMW Pga Championship (at the last shot against her compatriot Lee Westwood, who was also in the running for the world record as well as for the Tournament), she became number 1 in the world ranking for first time in his career.
In 2007 in Santorini (Greece) he married Diane Antonopoulos: the two have two daughters, born in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Among his personal sponsors, IMG (since 2003), RBC, Mizuno Corp (with whom he also collaborates as a technical consultant for golf) and Ralph Lauren (announced in February 2007, in reality he dressed for them in tournaments since 2002).