Hero Cup: Luke Donald names line-ups as Great Britain and Ireland face Continental Europe
Tyrrell Hatton and Shane Lowry among the players featuring for Great Britain and Ireland; Alex Noren and Thomas Pieters involved for Continental Europe - watch the Hero Cup live from January 13-15 on Sky Sports
Last Updated: 28/11/22 10:44am
Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald has announced the line-ups for the inaugural Hero Cup in Abu Dhabi, electing to mix youth with experience in both the Continental Europe and Great Britain and Ireland teams.
The three-day match play contest at Abu Dhabi Golf Club from January 13-15, live on Sky Sports, will give European players experience in the team format ahead of potential future Ryder Cup appearances.
Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari will serve as playing captains of the 10-man teams, with Donald naming two additional players in each side with past Ryder Cup experience and including several rookies in contention to feature for Team Europe in the next Ryder Cup.
Two-time Ryder Cup player Fleetwood has 2019 Open Champion Shane Lowry and four-time Rolex Series winner Tyrrell Hatton in his Great Britain and Ireland line-up, with the trio all featuring in last year's Ryder Cup defeat at Whistling Straits.
Irishman Seamus Power - who has enjoyed a stunning start to the PGA Tour season and currently leads the FedExCup Standings - will feature for the GB&Ireland team, with DP World Tour winners Ewen Ferguson, Robert MacIntyre, Callum Shinkwin, Jordan Smith and Matt Wallace also included.
"I am really pleased with the players who will form the Great Britain and Ireland team next year," Fleetwood said. "Having the experience of Shane [Lowry] and Tyrrell [Hatton] will be invaluable for the rest of the team in a match play environment but I think we are really strong throughout the team.
"We have proven winners in some of the biggest DP World Tour events and it will be great to have Seamus [Power] with us following his excellent start to the season in America."
Molinari has 2018 Ryder Cup winner Alex Noren and Belgium's Thomas Pieters - who scored four points on his debut for Team Europe in 2016 - in his Continental Europe side, with Austrian Sepp Straka also included after his breakthrough PGA Tour win earlier this year.
Three-time DP World Tour winner Rasmus Højgaard is also named, along with Victor Perez, Adrian Meronk, Thomas Detry and Italy's Guido Migliozzi, who is looking to feature in a home Ryder Cup next September.
"Our team is packed full of exciting players who all have the attributes to excel in a match play contest and I'm excited to lead them into the Hero Cup next year," Molinari said.
"Some of our younger players have already shown incredible maturity in high-pressured situations and proved they can perform in big moments, so giving them the opportunity to compete on this stage alongside the likes of Alex Noren and Thomas Pieters will be really important at the beginning of what could be a big year for them."
One vacant spot remains in each team, with Donald set to announce the final two players in the line-up at the end of the DP World Tour calendar year.
"Having worked closely with Tommy and Fran on building the two teams, I'm delighted with the mix of players who will be on show at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in January," Donald said.
Who will feature in the Hero Cup?
Continental Europe: Francesco Molinari (c), Thomas Detry, Rasmus Hojgaard, Adrian Meronk, Guido Migliozzi, Alex Noren, Victor Perez, Thomas Pieters, Sepp Straka, TBC
Great Britain and Ireland: Tommy Fleetwood (c), Ewen Ferguson, Tyrrell Hatton, Shane Lowry, Robert MacIntyre, Seamus Power, Callum Shinkwin, Jordan Smith, Matt Wallace, TBC
"We all thought it was important to combine experience and youthfulness and I think we have found that balance with a mixture of Major Champions and Ryder Cup players, alongside guys who are hoping to secure a spot in Rome next year."
Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Matt Fitzpatrick and Viktor Hovland, the four highest-ranked European players in the world rankings and all likely to play a key role in Europe's next Ryder Cup team, are all missing the contest.
The Hero Cup is the first DP World Tour event of 2023, with coverage live from January 13-15 on Sky Sports Golf!