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RYDER CUP

Luke Donald to captain Europe again: how many Ryder Cup skippers have repeated?

Donald, 45, has joined a select group of Ryder Cup captains who have been named as team skipper for consecutive editions of the golf event.

Update:
Donald, 45, has joined a select group of Ryder Cup captains who have been named as team skipper for consecutive editions of the golf event.
Patrick SmithGetty Images

Luke Donald has been confirmed as Europe’s captain for the 2025 Ryder Cup, making the Englishman the first man in nearly three decades to skipper the team in successive editions of the golf tournament.

Donald steered Team Europe to victory in the 2023 Ryder Cup earlier this year, beating Team USA 16½ - 11½ at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome.

“I’m delighted and honoured to have been given the chance to lead Team Europe in the Ryder Cup once again,” the 45-year-old said. “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.”

Who else has repeated as Team Europe captain?

Donald, who was also a four-time Ryder Cup winner as a player, is Europe’s first back-to-back captain since Bernard Gallacher, who skippered the team in 1991, 1993 and 1995.

Before Gallagher, Tony Jacklin captained the Europeans at four straight Ryder Cups - in 1983, 1985, 1987 and 1989 - and John Jacobs was at the helm of the team twice in a row, in 1979 and 1981.

Jacklin is the only captain to pilot Europe to successive Ryder Cup triumphs, having won at the Belfry in 1985 and in Ohio two years later. His European team also retained the trophy in 1989 after a 14-14 draw back at the Belfry.

Repeat Team GB (and Ireland) skippers

In the pre-Team Europe era between 1927 and 1977, when Team USA’s opponents competed first as Great Britain, then as Great Britain and Ireland, four men were named captain for consecutive Ryder Cups.

Bernard Hunt took charge of the British and Irish in 1973 and 1975, while Team GB was captained twice on the spin by Eric Brown (1969 and 1971); on four successive occasions by Dai Rees (1955, 1957, 1959 and 1961) and twice consecutively by Charles Whitcombe (1935 and 1937).

Rees and Whitcombe also captained Great Britain in 1967 and 1931, respectively, and Henry Cotton had two non-consecutive stints as skipper, in 1947 and 1953.

Who has repeated as Team USA captain?

While Team Europe has now named four back-to-back captains since its creation in 1979, the United States have only had two such skippers in the Ryder Cup’s nearly 100-year history.

Walter Hagen headed up the US for the tournament’s first six editions, between 1927 and 1937. Later, Ben Hogan captained the Americans twice on the bounce in 1947 and 1949, before getting a final crack at the role two decades on, in 1967.

However, although the US have rarely gone with the same captain in consecutive Ryder Cups, six more men have led the team on multiple occasions: Jack Burke Jr (1957 and 1973); Davis Love III (2012 and 2016); Jack Nicklaus (1983 and 1987); Arnold Palmer (1963 and 1975); Sam Snead (1951, 1959 and 1969); and Tom Watson (1993, 2006 and 2014).

2025 Ryder Cup: when and where?

The 2025 Ryder Cup, which will be the 45th edition of the event, is to be held at Bethpage Black Course in Farmingdale, New York, between 25 and 28 September 2025.

Team USA’s captain, which in 2023 was Zach Johnson, is yet to be announced.

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