Thomas Bjørn has been named the European captain for The 2018 Ryder Cup.
The 45-year-old was the first Danish player to represent Europe against the United States when he made his debut under Seve Ballesteros in 1997, the year the biennial contest was first played in continental Europe at Valderrama, in Spain.
Twenty-one years later he will become the first Dane, and the first Scandinavian, to lead Europe when The Ryder Cup returns to mainland Europe for the second time at Le Golf National in Paris, France, September 28-30.
Bjørn will bring a wealth of experience to the role of captain having featured on three victorious European Ryder Cup teams as a player, with successful appearances at The Belfry in 2002 and the win at Gleneagles in 2014 following his 1997 debut.
He has also served as a vice captain on four occasions under Bernhard Langer in 2004, Colin Montgomerie in 2010, José María Olazábal in 2012 and Darren Clarke at Hazeltine National in 2016.
The 15-time European Tour winner, who was twice a runner-up in The Open Championship, also knows the 2018 host venue particularly well, having played in the Open de France a total of 14 times at Le Golf National – his best finish a share of third place in 2007. He was chosen as Europe’s 2018 Ryder Cup captain by a five-man selection panel comprising the three most recent European Ryder Cup Captains – Clarke, Paul McGinley and Olazábal – as well as the chief executive of the European Tour Keith Pelley and European Tour Tournament Committee member Henrik Stenson.
He said: “It’s a huge honour for me to be named European captain for The 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris. 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.
“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.”
Bjørn succeeds Clarke and will lead the European bid to reclaim the Ryder Cup, and will be looking to extend the continent’s impressive run of consecutive victories on home soil to six.