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Ryder Cup: Five European players who could make the team

Europe's Ryder Cup side is set to have a different look about it for the 2023 event, as captain Luke Donald aims to win back the trophy the USA emphatically secured at Whistling Straits in 2021.

Having lost 17.5-10.5 at Le Golf National in 2018 to lose their grip on the trophy, the Americans responded in record-breaking fashion with a 19-9 thrashing of Europe in Wisconsin three years later.

Europe will be hoping to make a better fist of things when the action heads to Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Italy next year, the event running from 29th September-1st October.

What: Ryder Cup 2023
Where: Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, Italy
When: 29th September-1st October
How to watch: Sky Sports
Odds (Win Outright): Europe 15/8, Tie 12/1, USA 8/15

Stalwarts such as Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and Sergio Garcia are not expected to make the team, so there is likely to be some fresh blood in the 12-man party.

We have taken a look at five individuals who could be playing in Italy.

Seamus Power

Ireland's Seamus Power has enjoyed a couple of excellent years on the PGA Tour, having firstly broken his duck at the 2021 Barbasol Championship before landing his second title at the 2022 Bermuda Championship.

The 35-year-old is playing the best golf of his career and he also managed to transfer this form into three of the Majors this year, as he finished T27 at the Masters, T9 at the PGA Championship and T12 at the US Open - every outing being his debut in the event.

Power's best chance of automatic qualification is likely to be via the World Points List, but if he fails in his attempts, there is every chance he will be given one of the six captain's picks and handed his Ryder Cup debut.

Adrian Meronk

It has also been a stellar year for Adrian Meronk, who won the 2022 Irish Open to become the first Polish golfer to win on the DP World Tour.

That victory came after a flurry of near-misses and it obviously gave him the confidence boost needed, as he recently landed his second title at the ISPS Handa Australian Open.

Meronk's game has been improving rapidly over the past 12 months and it would be no surprise to see him becoming the first player from his country to play in the Ryder Cup.

Adrian Otaegui

This is a potentially contentious pick and a lot will depend on the qualifying criteria surrounding players who featured in LIV Golf events, but Adrian Otaegui currently holds the third and final place in the World Points List.

He did play in three of the first four LIV events before then featuring in the season-ending Team Championship, but he did produce a stunning performance in the middle of all that when landing the Andalucia Masters by six strokes.

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Given his ties to LIV Golf, it is unlikely Donald would use one of his captain's picks on the Spaniard, meaning automatic qualification - if possible - would be the main route into the Ryder Cup.

Alex Noren

Alex Noren became the 10th different Swedish player to play in the Ryder Cup in 2018 and he enjoyed a memorable debut, holding a monster putt on the last to secure the 17.5-10.5 victory.

The 40-year-old has not won since 2018 but he has been getting back to somewhere near his best over the past year, posting five top-five finishes worldwide and a further four top-15s.

Noren has climbed to 39th in the world rankings and he currently holds one of the places in the World Points List, while he also sits prominently in the European Points.

Robert MacIntyre

Since the European team formed for the 1979 Ryder Cup, a total of 10 Scottish players have played in the event - the most recent of those being Stephen Gallacher in 2014.

An 11th person could add his name to that list in Italy next year and he is Robert MacIntyre, the talented left-hander who got back on the winning trail in 2022.

Breaking his DP World Tour duck at the 2020 Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown, the 26-year-old didn't kick on as well as expected since then and he started to slip down the world rankings.

However, the Scot held his nerve to beat Matt Fitzpatrick in a playoff at the 2022 Italian Open - a victory that was even more significant given the fact it was played at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.

A couple of top-10 finishes since that second title have left MacIntyre 71st in the world rankings and in contention for an automatic place in Donald's squad on both the European and World Points Lists.

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