Thomas Bjorn announces Robert Karlsson as vice-captain for 2018 Ryder Cup in France
By Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 31/05/17 2:49pm
Robert Karlsson has been confirmed as a vice-captain for Europe at the 2018 Ryder Cup in France.
Thomas Bjorn, named as Europe's captain last year, made the announcement in Sweden on Wednesday ahead of the European Tour's Nordea Masters, which begins on Thursday.
Karlsson, who played in the 2006 and 2008 Ryder Cup, is a former world top-10 player with victories across the European Tour including the season's climax at the 2010 Dubai World Championship.
The 47-year-old Swede was also crowned European No 1 after a superb 2008 campaign, but his results in recent years have been hampered by a series of injuries and illnesses.
"It gives me great pleasure to announce Robert Karlsson as my first vice-captain for the 2018 Ryder Cup," said Bjorn at a press conference in Malmo. "I know from all the Ryder Cups I have been involved in, both as a player and vice-captain, is it vital to have people around that you trust implicitly and Robert most definitely fits into that category.
"He has been one of my closest friends on Tour for many years and, not only that, he is immensely respected by all the players, both his peers and the younger guys now emerging.
"His playing credentials are impressive, having been a former European No 1, and he also knows the unique atmosphere of The Ryder Cup, having represented Europe both home and away.
"Robert will be a vital foil for me over the next 16 months in all aspects of our preparation, including helping analyse statistical information on players, and I know he will give me his honest opinion on everything I ask. I am delighted to have him as part of the team."
Karlsson added: "To get the call from Thomas was very special and I'm really looking forward to being part of the Ryder Cup again. It is a great honour to be a vice-captain and I'm very much looking forward to the next 16 months.
"I've played in two Ryder Cups so I have the experience of what the players will face and also have a lot of experience on the European Tour. I know the players well and I know Thomas very well too, and I will be there to do whatever he needs me to do."
Karlsson is the first addition to Bjorn's backroom team, with further vice-captain announcements to be made ahead of next September's edition at Le Golf National near Paris, which will be the second time the event has been hosted in Continental Europe.
Europe will head into the contest looking to atone for last year's 17-11 drubbing at Hazeltine while also attempting to extend a 25-year unbeaten record as the host team.
The 42nd edition of the event will be played from September 28-30 with nine-time Ryder Cup player Jim Furyk leading the United States team.