Thomas Bjorn will captain Team Europe for the 2018 Ryder Cup against the United States at Le Golf National, it has been confirmed. The 45-year-old becomes the first Dane to skipper the team as they attempt to wrestle back the Samuel Ryder trophy in two years' time, after being defeated by Team USA at Hazeltine.
A five-man panel comprising of three most recent European captains Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley and Jose Maria Olazabel as well as European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and The Open champion Henrik Stenson, who is also a European Tour tournament committee member, selected Bjorn to lead attempts to win the trophy for a sixth consecutive time on home soil.
Bjorn has a wealth of experience in the format having three times won the trophy as a player at Valderrama in 1997, The Belfry in 2002 and most recently at Gleneagles 2014. He has also served as a vice captain on four occasions in 2004, 2010, 2012 and then under Clarke earlier this year.
"This is one of the greatest days in my career," he said, according to RyderCup.com. "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."
As a player, Bjorn has played nine matches across his three Ryder Cup appearances, attaining four points along the way. Meanwhile, with 15 individual titles Bjorn is the most successful player to hail from Denmark on the European Tour, while three times he has finished as a runner-up at a major, twice at The Open and once at the PGA Championship.
Victorious captain from 2010 Colin Montgomerie enlisted Bjorn as one of his support staff during his campaign at the helm and believes he was the clear choice for the role in two years time. "Thomas was the obvious choice, and the right choice, to be captain in 2018," the Scot told Sky Sports. "I saw first-hand what he was like as a vice-captain in 2010, and he was exceptional.
"I used him possibly more than any other vice-captain at Celtic Manor. He wears his heart on his sleeve and I think that's important for the role. I wouldn't be worried about his combustible and fiery nature that is good in a way. I think you need that to beat the might of the Americans. We need to win the Ryder Cup back in France, and I feel we've got the best captain to do that."
The 2018 Ryder Cup takes place at the Albatros Course at Le Golf National from 28-30 September. Team USA are yet to confirm their captain for the event, having been led to victory by Davis Love III in Minneapolis, Minnesota.