Thomas Pieters primed, Andy Sullivan struggling: Assessing the form of the Ryder Cup rookies

Ahead of the start of the 41st Ryder Cup, Jon Turner assesses the form of the eight rookies taking part.

More on the Ryder Cup: Exclusive Rafa Cabrera-Bello interview | Info guide | Course guide

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TEAM USA

Brooks Koepka

Secured his spot on the US team with a fourth-place finish at the PGA Championship following a month out with an ankle injury. FedEx Cup play-off results have been ordinary, but a big game means if it clicks into place, the world No 22 is a match for anyone.

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Ryan Moore

The American came agonisingly close to winning the Tour Championship before being edged by Rory McIlroy on the fourth play-off hole. Not a big hitter but a solid player in form with a superb match play record. A winner in 2016 at the John Deere Classic.

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TEAM EUROPE

Danny Willett

Booked his place in the European team early with victory at the US Masters. Also a winner in Dubai and a runner-up last week at the Italian Open. Form not that of a major champion. His finish in Italy was only his second top 10 since winning the Masters.

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Chris Wood

Makes Team Europe largely based on winning the BMW PGA Championship. Has struggled with a neck injury this season, and thus form has been less than stellar. Could be paired with Willett. The two were regular teammates for England as amateurs.

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Rafa Cabrera-Bello

No titles in 2016 but the world No 30 has been the model of consistency this season, missing just one cut in 21 events. His game is equally reliable with superb iron play and solid tee-to-green play making him a great fit for the Ryder Cup’s match play format.

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Andy Sullivan

Boasts fine pedigree in the team format, winning all three matches in the EurAsia Cup. A remarkable 2015 season that produced three titles has made way for a mediocre 2016. The world No 50 will need to conjure up last year’s form to make an impact.

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Matthew Fitzpatrick

Team Europe’s youngest player, the Englishman, 22, has endured an erratic season, combining one title and five top 10s with 11 missed cuts. A player of undeniable talent, at his best the world No 44 can be a real danger at Hazeltine.

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Thomas Pieters

Europe’s only rookie captain’s pick, the Belgian world No 42 hit form at the right time. Fourth at the Olympics, a runner-up at the Czech Masters and the winner of Made in Denmark just as Darren Clarke was finalising his team. Possesses enormous power.

Published: September 28, 2016 04:00 AM

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