New Ryder Cup tuneup, team-building event announces rosters

Tommy Fleetwood headlines the first-ever Hero Cup roster.

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The Hero Cup officially has competitors.

The DP World Tour announced a pair of nine-man rosters on Monday afternoon for the new biennial match-play event hosted by the European Ryder Cup team, with a 10th player from either side still to be announced.

The Cup was originally crafted in the ilk of the old Seve Cup, pitting the British Isles (Great Britain and Ireland) against the remainder of Continental Europe. Much like the Seve Cup, the Hero Cup is meant to serve as the European counterpart to the Presidents Cup.

The Seve Cup was discontinued at the height of European Ryder Cup dominance in 2013, but after Team Europe’s 2021 thrashing at Whistling Straits and a groundswell of losses from the team’s veteran core to LIV, Team Europe’s brass began to rethink its team-building strategy. The Hero Cup is the offspring of that rethinking, even if its creation inspired some criticism from the family of the former event’s namesake.

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Tommy Fleetwood and Shane Lowry, two European Ryder Cup stalwarts, lead the way for Team GB&I, while Francesco Molinari and Alex Noren highlight the Continental Europe side. Fleetwood and Molinari are the event’s two captains. Full rosters for the event are included below.

Team Continental Europe

– Francesco Molinari (Captain)
– Thomas Detry
– Rasmus Hojgaard
– Adrian Meronk
– Guido Migliozzi
– Alex Noren
– Victor Perez
– Thomas Pieters
– Sepp Straka
– TBA

Team Great Britain and Ireland

– Tommy Fleetwood (Captain)
– Ewen Ferguson
– Tyrrell Hatton
– Shane Lowry
– Robert MacIntyre
– Seamus Power
– Callum Shinkwin
– Jordan Smith
– Matt Wallace
– TBA

At first blush, the roster advantage would appear to go to Team GB&I, whose core group of Fleetwood, Hatton, Lowry, MacIntyre and Power has both recent success and match-play experience. Team Continental Europe is considerably greener, but names like Hojgaard, Straka and Migliozzi represent a good chunk of the young talent the European Ryder Cup team hopes will carry it into the next generation.

Still, perhaps the most notable piece of both rosters is who isn’t included. Barring a last-second change, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland — arguably Team Europe’s three best young stars — won’t be participating in the event, which is scheduled for the week after the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

The Hero Cup will be contested for the first time in Abu Dhabi from Jan. 13-15.

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at james.colgan@golf.com.