Nicolas Colsaerts
Born: November 14, 1982, Brussels, Belgium
World ranking: 35
Ryder Cup appearances: None
Points: None

The big-hitting Belgian is enjoying the season of his career in 2012, and confirmed his Ryder Cup potential by winning the 2012 World Match Play Championship, defeating Ryder Cup teammate Graeme McDowell in the final.

Luke Donald

Born: December 7, 1977
World ranking: 3
Ryder Cup appearances: 3
Points: W 8 – L 2 – H 1

The former world number one boasts a remarkable Ryder Cup record, having won eight of 13 matches. His record in partnership with Garcia is 4-0. Donald brings some form to Medinah, having finished 3rd in the Tour Championship.

Sergio Garcia
Born: January 9, 1980
World ranking: 19
Ryder Cup appearances: 5
Points: W 14 – L 6 – H4

A Ryder Cup specialist since making debut aged 19 at Brookline. Looked as though he might miss second Ryder Cup in a row when he missed cut at PGA Championship, but then bounced back to win Wyndham Championship.

Peter Hanson
Born: October 4, 1977
World ranking: 25
Ryder Cup appearances: 1
Points: W 1 – L 2 – H 0

Hanson played well in some big events this year: finished tied-5th in Accenture Match Play, beating Dufner and Snedeker in process, finished tied-3rd in Masters and then tied-7th in PGA. Will want to improve personal Ryder Cup record here.

Martin Kaymer
Born: December 28, 1984
World ranking: 32
Ryder Cup appearances: 1
Points: W 2 – L 1 – H 1

A disappointing 2012 has seen this former world number one’s ranking tumble. He narrowly claimed last automatic spot on the team, but the 2010 PGA Championship winner showed form in finishing tied-5th in recent Italian Open.

Paul Lawrie
Born: January 1, 1969
World ranking: 28
Ryder Cup appearances: 1
Points: W3 – L 1 – H 1

The oldest member of European team and resurgent in 2012, with two European Tour victories. Lawrie makes his second Ryder Cup appearance 13 years after his first, when he was reigning Open champion at Brookline.

Graeme McDowell
Born: July 30, 1979
World ranking: 18
Ryder Cup appearances: 2
Points: W 4 – L 2 – H 2

McDowell was US Open champion when he holed the winning putt in the 210 Ryder Cup, defeating Hunter Mahan 3&1. Olazabal calls him the “pit bull”, and he was world golf’s most consistent performer across the majors in 2012.

Rory McIlroy
Born: May 4, 1989
World ranking: 1
Ryder Cup appearances: 1
Points: W 2 – L 1 – H 1

A remarkable recent run of form, including victory in the PGA Championship, has seen McIlroy open a Tiger-esque gap at the top of the World Ranking. Former US captain Paul Azinger says if the US can beat McIlroy they will win Ryder Cup.

Francesco Molinari
Born: November 8, 1982
World ranking: 31
Ryder Cup appearances: 1
Points: W 0 – L 2 – H 1

An excellent season in Europe, with Spanish Open triumph, has earned Molinari his second shot at the Ryder Cup. He played at Celtic Manor but only delivered one half from three matches, which included a singles drubbing from Woods.

Ian Poulter
Born: January 1, 1976
World ranking: 26
Ryder Cup appearances: 3
Points: W 8 – L 3 – H 0

Poulter was nicknamed the ‘Postman’ by his teammates in 2010 because he always delivers in the Ryder Cup. Poulter likes the big occasion, as illustrated by his three top-10 finishes in the 2012 majors, including tied-3rd in the PGA.

Justin Rose
Born: July 30, 1980
World ranking: 5
Ryder Cup appearances: 1
Points: W 3 – L 1 – H 0

Rose finished a career-high 6th in the Fed-Ex Cup this year, after he finished as runner-up to Brandt Snedeker in the Tour Championship. Rose played well on his Ryder Cup debut in 2008, when he beat Mickelson in the singles 3&2.

Lee Westwood
Born: April 24, 1973
World ranking: 4
Ryder Cup appearances: 7
Points: W 16 – L 11 – H 6

Colin Montgomerie has singled out Westwood to be the on-course leader for Europe at Medinah. He has shown mixed form in recent weeks, but has been a terrific pairs player in the Ryder Cup, particularly in foursomes (W7-L2-H4).

Profiles courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, the official car of the 2012 Ryder Cup