Shane Lowry named in Team Europe wildcard picks for Ryder Cup

Shane Lowry will contest his second Ryder Cup in Rome later this month after being named as one of six wildcards by the European captain Luke Donald.

Missing the cut at the Czech Masters last week meant he could not qualify automatically, but he was still widely expected to be selected by Donald to tee it up in the Italian capital.

Despite an underwhelming 2023, which saw him drop 17 places in the world rankings, Donald has recently praised his enthusiasm for the competition and his energy around the team room.

Lowry won one point from three matches in his Ryder Cup bow in 2021 as the United States prevailed 19-9 at Whistling Straits against a Padraig Harrington-captained Europe.

Sepp Straka, Nicolai Højgaard and Ludvig Aberg will make their first appearances.

Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose have also been chosen.

Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, Robert MacIntyre, Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland, and Jon Rahm claimed the automatic slots.

Donald has looked to blend youth and experience with his picks.

“I’m incredibly proud and grateful, and very excited for Rome,” Lowry said after the announcement was made.

“The last one hurt a little bit, and I’m excited for a home Ryder Cup. I’m very grateful that Luke has given me the opportunity to go there and show what I can do again.”

Donald admitted that Lowry’s performance in a losing team last time out played a part in getting the nod.

“We saw in Whistling Straits the passion, the videos of the fist pumping the putts,” he said.

“We know he’s a big-time player. He’s won an Open Championship, he’s won at Wentworth.

“On those big occasions against the best players, he turns up in those moments.

“We saw his passion two years ago and we’re super excited to have him as part of the team because he is great in a team as well.”

Padraig Harrington missed out on a place despite his good year, as did Seamus Power.

Ludvig Aberg’s win at the European Masters on Sunday influenced his selection.

Donald admitted he had been “blown away” by the ability of Aberg.

Former world number one amateur Aberg only turned professional in June, but won the final qualifying event in Switzerland on Sunday with a final round of 64 at Crans-sur-Sierre.

The 23-year-old Swede has made the quickest transition from the amateur ranks to the Ryder Cup in the contest’s history, eclipsing the previous record set by Sergio Garcia, who made his debut in 1999 after turning professional following April’s Masters.

Poland’s Adrian Meronk missed out despite winning the Italian Open at the host venue in May.

Europe will attempt to regain the trophy at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club from 29 September to 1 October.

Speaking about Aberg, Donald said: “We obviously knew what he was doing in the college scene. You look at what he did in those four years and the only comparables really were Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm. He is that good.

“I played with him in Detroit and was blown away by his game. He continued to impress and I challenged him to come over to Europe and play a couple (of events).

“He was fifth (tied fourth) in the Czech Masters and you know what he did yesterday. It was like a walk in the park for him and for someone that is so inexperienced it was just so, so impressive

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