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Ryder Cup: Thomas Bjorn backs Team Europe’s rookies to impress

2:24 am, 22nd September 2018

Five of Bjorn’s 12-man side at Le Golf National are making their maiden appearance, where Team Europe aims to regain the trophy after suffering a 17-11 defeat at Hazeltine in 2016.

All five rookies were winners on the European Tour during the qualification campaign, with Bjorn expecting Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Alex Noren, Thorbjorn Olesen and Jon Rahm to make a positive impact on the European team.

“There’s going to be a reaction from the rookies to how they take to the Ryder Cup, as players take to the Ryder Cup in different ways,” Bjorn told Sky Sports for an exclusive documentary, titled ‘Bjorn to Lead’.

“This is probably the strongest group of rookies we’ve ever had. They’re extremely talented, they’re a great bunch of guys and have achieved great things in their careers so far.

“That comes with a lot of hope and some expectations, but as a captain that offers some sort of calmness in the way that I look at them and think ‘yeah, they’ll be alright when they get out into that environment’.”

Europe head into the biennial contest as underdogs’ with the bookies due to the superior world ranking of their American counterparts, although Bjorn has faith in his team and backroom staff to shine on home soil.

“You’ve got to believe in your team and you’ve got to believe those 12 are there for a reason and they’re there to do a job,” Bjorn added. “It’s not about you as a captain. It’s not about you do, it’s about what they [the players] do and creating a world for them to perform at their best.

“I have to put an environment for the European side for them to go and enjoy what is supposed to be one of the greatest weeks of their lives. The main objective is that, through creating that environment that they [Team Europe] play their best and we can win.”

Hear Bjorn’s full interview in “Bjorn to Lead”, available now on Sky Sports On Demand and from 7.30pm on Sky Sports’ dedicated Ryder Cup channel.

Get the dedicated Sky Sports Golf channel to watch every minute of the Ryder Cup. Find out more.