Francesco Molinari Named As Part Of Team Europe

Team Europe have finalised their backroom team for Rome with the announcement that Francesco Molinari will be one of Luke Donald's vice-captains. He will join his brother, Edoardo, and Thomas Bjorn, Nicolas Colsaerts and Jose Maria Olazabal.

The 40-year-old has been involved in three cups before – 2010 at Celtic Manor where he teamed up with his brother, 2012 where he completed the remarkable comeback at Medinah with a half against Tiger Woods and then when he posted 5/5 in Paris when Bjorn was the skipper.

Five years ago he was winning The Open and it almost seemed inconceivable that he would miss the 2021 matches at Whistling Straits but his role now appears to be behind the scenes and he will of course be on home soil as Europe attempt to regain the trophy.

"I am very proud to be part of Luke’s team. I started the year hoping to be there as a player, but it is still a great honour to be there as a vice-captain," he said. “I got a phone call from Luke asking if I was interested and obviously it was a clear answer from me. He is assembling a really good team of people. A lot of them are close to me in different ways.

"We’ve all shared the stage together already in some form and that helps when it comes to decision time and putting Luke and the players in the best conditions possible to perform at their best."

As for Donald he was relishing the prospect of having two local heroes on the sidelines.

“I chose Francesco because he has a lot of experience in Ryder Cups and he is a Major winner. He has a tremendous individual career but he is also Italian. I wanted him there no matter what, whether it was playing or as a vice-captain. With his brother there too, I think it is going to be pretty special, having both Edoardo and Francesco on my team representing Team Europe but also representing Italy."

American captain Zach Johnson has already selected Davis Love III, Fred Couples, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink as his assistants.

In other Ryder Cup news this week Viktor Hovland is now assured of his place on the team, along with Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.

Donald will announce his six picks on September 4.