Europa appoints Francesco Molinari as vice-captain in Rome

Francesco Molinari celebrates winning the 2018 Ryder Cup

Francesco Molinari became the first European player to win the maximum five points from five matches when Europe won the 2018 Ryder Cup

Francesco Molinari has been appointed as Europe’s fifth and final vice-captain as they try to win back the Ryder Cup from the United States in Rome.

The 40-year-old Italian, a key member of Europe’s victory in 2018 as a player, joins captain Luke Donald’s squad for the event at the Marco Simone Club.

Molinari joins brother Edoardo, Jose Maria Olazabal, Nicolas Colsaerts and Thomas Bjorn as vice-captains.

The Ryder Cup, won by the United States in 2021, starts on September 29.

“I started the year hoping to be there as a player, but it’s still a great honor to be there as vice-captain,” said Molinari, who became the first Italian to win a major title when he triumphed at the 2018 Open. Championship.

“I got a phone call from Luke asking if I was interested and of course that was a clear answer from me. He’s putting together a really good team of people.

“It’s a Ryder Cup that’s particularly close to my heart when I’m playing in Rome. I’ll do everything I can to help Luke and the team and hopefully bring the trophy back to Europe.”

The USA regained the trophy two years ago with a record 19-9 victory over Europe in Whistling Straits, Wisconsin.

Europe is looking to make amends and defend a record of not losing a Ryder Cup on home soil since a 15-13 defeat at The Belfry in England in 1993.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, Spain’s Jon Rahm and Norway‘s Viktor Hovland are the first three European players to book their places in the 12-man squad.

World number one Scottie Scheffler and US Open champion Wyndham Clark are the only players who have already qualified for the American team, which is led by captain Zach Johnson.

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