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Bjorn leader; Dane Thomas to captain Europe's 2018 Ryder Cup team

GolfBy Sunday World
Thomas Bjorn has played in three Ryder Cups
Thomas Bjorn has played in three Ryder Cups

Thomas Bjorn has been confirmed as Europe's Ryder Cup captain for the 2018 match in France.

The 45-year-old Dane has been a vice-captain for four previous matches, including this year's 17-11 defeat to the United States at Hazeltine.

He also played in three Ryder Cups and was twice runner-up at The Open.

Bjorn, the most successful Danish golfer, becomes the first Scandinavian skipper of the team.

He had been a firm favourite for the job, especially after Padraig Harrington said he wanted to play in the next match, at Le Golf National in Paris, rather than take on the captaincy.

"It's a huge honour for me to be named European captain for the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris," Bjorn told rydercup.com. "This is one of the greatest days in my career.

"I studied a lot of captains as a player and as a vice-captain and always wondered what that feeling would be like to be the one leading out a team of 12 great players. Now it's my turn to do just that and it is an exciting moment for me.

"I have lived and breathed the European Tour for so long, and now I will do the same with the Ryder Cup for the next two years. I'm very much looking forward to taking on this task."

Bjorn was chosen by a five-man selection panel comprising the three most recent captains - Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley and Jose Maria Olazabal - as well as European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and European Tour tournament committee member Henrik Stenson.

Pelley said: "Thomas has many wonderful characteristics which he will bring to the role of captain.

"Firstly, he is incredibly experienced having played in three winning Ryder Cup teams and having been a vice-captain four times.

"He also has commitment. We have seen that over the last nine years as tournament committee chairman, so we know as Ryder Cup captain he will have the same unwavering commitment.

"Thirdly, he has passion. Not only for this wonderful game, but for the European Tour and Team Europe and he wants the Ryder Cup to be the greatest sporting event it can be.

"So when you look at these characteristics, I am convinced they will make him a great Ryder Cup captain."