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New GB And Ireland v Continental Europe Match Play Tournament Announced

New GB And Ireland v Continental Europe Match Play Tournament Announced
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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The DP World Tour made an exciting announcement on Tuesday morning, with the reveal of a new match play tournament called the Hero Cup in preparation for the 2023 Ryder Cup.

The new tournament will see the best talent from Ireland and Great Britain face off against the rest of continental Europe in a three-day team tournament next January.

It gives a huge opportunity for Irish golfers such as Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry to prepare for next year's Ryder Cup in Rome, and the details make it seem like a mouth watering proposition.

Hero Cup: New Ryder Cup warmup competition announced

The announcement of the Hero Cup on Tuesday has us massively excited. The inaugural edition will take place at Abu Dhabi Golf Club from the 13-15 January 2023.

The tournament will see two ten man teams selected by new European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald, alongside two team captains, and will help to prepare European players for next year's Ryder Cup.

READ HERE: Changes Made To How European Ryder Cup Team Is Selected

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One team will consist of players from Great Britain and Ireland, with the other comprising of the best players from the continent. The three-day tournament will see one session of foursomes, one session of fourballs, and one session of singles matches, with every one of the 20 players playing in each session.

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Speaking after the launch of the Hero Cup, European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald welcomed the new tournament. He said that he felt it would give players invaluable experience ahead of the Ryder Cup:

One of the first things I was keen to do when I was appointed as Ryder Cup captain was to reinstate a team match play contest to give playing and leadership experience to future Ryder Cup players, vice-captains, and captains.

I spoke to a number of former Ryder Cup captains who were strong advocates of how similar events in the past have benefitted players who were pushing to make Ryder Cup teams, as well as their own captaincy journey.

O am therefore grateful to Hero MotoCorp and the DP World Tour for supporting the concept of the Hero Cup and I look forward to seeing the players compete at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in January.

The two Hero Cup teams will be decided after the conclusion of the DP World Tour in Dubai in November. Though the teams will be selected by captains, the tour rankings will be taken into account. If the current rankings were the deciding factor, this is how the Great Britain and Ireland team would look for January's tournament:

  1. Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland)
  2. Matt Fitzpatrick (England)
  3. Tommy Fleetwood (England)
  4. Ewen Ferguson (Scotland)
  5. Jordan Smith (England)
  6. Shane Lowry (Ireland)
  7. Richard Bland (England)
  8. Tyrrell Hatton (England)
  9. Richie Ramsay (Scotland)
  10. Connor Syme (Scotland)

In terms of Irish representation, Seamus Power would likely be in the mix when it comes to team selection.

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The current top ten players from continental Europe on the DP World Tour Rankings are:

  1. Viktor Hovland (Norway)
  2. Thomas Pieters (Belgium)
  3. Adrian Meronk (Poland)
  4. Pablo Larrazabal (Spain)
  5. Thorbjorn Olsen (Denmark)
  6. Adri Arnaus (Spain)
  7. Hurly Long (Germany)
  8. Adrian Otaegui (Spain)
  9. Victor Perez (France)
  10. Rafa Cabrera Bello (Spain)

The Hero Cup is a hugely exciting addition to the golf calendar, and will also only add to the growing excitement for next year's Ryder Cup in Italy.

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