Luke Donald will lead Europe's bid to retain the Ryder Cup in 2025

Luke Donald will lead Europe’s bid to retain the Ryder Cup on US soil in 2025 as he becomes the first captain for 30 years to stay on in the role following sensational victory in Rome

  • Donald was serenaded with chants of ‘two more years’ after triumph last month 
  • Englishman has decided to continue as Europe’s captain heading into 2025
  • He will attempt to retain the trophy at Bethpage Black in New York 

Luke Donald will become the first captain to lead Europe at successive Ryder Cups for 30 years after agreeing to take charge of the 2025 showdown in New York.

The 45-year-old was serenaded by a chant of ‘two more years’ by Rory McIlroy in the wake of the five-point demolition of the US in Rome in October and has now been talked into the formidable task of retaining the trophy on foreign soil.

That could yet put him on a fascinating collision course with Tiger Woods, who has strong backing in the States to spearhead their recovery mission at Bethpage Black.

Sources at Ryder Cup Europe made it clear immediately after the 16.6-11.5 win in Italy that Donald was their overwhelming choice to return. 

While Donald needed some time to mull it over, he was ultimately won over by the challenge of becoming only the third European captain since Bernhard Langer and Jose Maria Olazabal to win in the US this century. 

Luke Donald has agreed to stay on as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain ahead of 2025 title defence

The Englishman led Europe to a stunning 16.5-11.5 win over the United States in Rome

With the atmosphere in New York certain to be frenzied, it will be a big ask. 

But Donald was always going to be the logical option. That is partly derived from the shallow pool of alternatives brought on by defections to LIV, including Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey and Graeme McDowell, but it is mainly a reflection of how his detail-centric approach contributed to the destruction of Zach Johnson’s side. 

McIlroy in particular was vocally in favour of continuity, meaning the Englishman will be the first back-to-back leader of the Europeans since Bernard Gallacher at 1991, 1993 and 1995 matches.

Donald, whose side had been underdogs in Rome, said: ‘I’m delighted and honoured to have been given the chance to lead Team Europe in the Ryder Cup once again. 

‘Great opportunities don’t come along very often in life and I’m a great believer that when they do, you need to grab them with both hands – this is one of these moments.

‘I’ve been fortunate as a player to have had many amazing times in the Ryder Cup over the years and so to add being a winning captain to that, to form bonds with the 12 players like we did in Italy and to get the result we did, was very special indeed.

‘The Ryder Cup means so much to me, so to be captain again and have the chance to create more history by becoming only the second European Captain to win back-to-back is exciting.

Donald will lead Europe’s Ryder Cup defence at Bethpage Black in New York in two years’ time

He could be up against Tiger Woods, who has strong backing to lead Team USA in 2025

‘There is no question that being a captain away from home is a tough task. But I have never shied away from challenges throughout my career and it is precisely the kind of thing that motivates me. I can’t wait to get another 12-strong team to Bethpage in 2025.’

Donald will attempt to become only the second captain to steer Europe to home and away victories, following Tony Jacklin’s wins in 1985 and 1987.

Guy Kinnings, the head of Ryder Cup Europe, said: ‘Luke was a superb captain in Rome and we are delighted that he will be returning to the role for the 2025 Ryder Cup in New York.

‘He demonstrated clear, calm and meticulous leadership skills in Rome, and all those qualities will be big assets again for Luke and Team Europe as they take on the considerable challenge of trying to retain the Ryder Cup against a strong US Team backed by passionate support in New York.’

The US picture remains unclear. Woods has long been touted for the role, but he refused to elaborate on those possibilities when asked on Tuesday.

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