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Team Europe player profiles for Ryder Cup

Ahead of the 40th Ryder Cup, which starts on Friday, we take a look at the 12 players who will represent Europe at Gleneagles.

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THOMAS BJORN

Age: 43

World ranking: 30

Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 2 (1997, 2002)

Ryder Cup record (Won-Lost-Halved): 3-2-1

The elder statesman of Team Europe, Bjorn is set to make his first Ryder Cup appearance in more than a decade, having been part of winning line-ups in 1997 and 2002. A non-playing vice-captain on three occasions, the vastly experienced Dane has enjoyed something of a second coming in recent years, winning six European Tour events since June 2010. He has won each of his two previous fourball matches, but was twice beaten playing foursomes with Darren Clarke at The Belfry 12 years ago.

JAMIE DONALDSON

Age: 39

World ranking: 25

Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 0

Ryder Cup record: N/A

Welshman Donaldson secured his place at Gleneagles in style with a two-shot victory at last month's Czech Masters - the penultimate event to count towards qualification for Paul McGinley's team. A winner in three successive European Tour seasons, Donaldson will be one of the less-heralded players in action this week, but should not be underestimated. The Ryder Cup rookie has twice represented Great Britain and Ireland in the Seve Trophy and was the joint-highest points-scorer in this year's inaugural EurAsia Cup.

VICTOR DUBUISSON

Age: 24

World ranking: 23

Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 0

Ryder Cup record: N/A

The beaten finalist at the WGC Match Play Championship in February, Dubuisson has enjoyed a tremendous 12 months. He claimed his first European Tour title last November at the Turkish Open, holding off a late charge from Donaldson, and has followed up that victory with several impressive showings in high-profile events, including top-10 finishes at The Open Championship and US PGA Championship. Still only 24, Dubuisson will hope this week's Ryder Cup appearance is the first of many.

STEPHEN GALLACHER

Age: 39

World ranking: 34

Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 0

Ryder Cup record: N/A

Gallacher, another rookie, is sure to receive strong support as the only Scot in action this week. The nephew of Ryder Cup icon Bernard Gallacher, Stephen was selected as a wildcard by European captain McGinley after missing out on an automatic qualifying slot by the narrowest of margins. Needing a top-two finish at the Italian Open to book his place at Gleneagles, Gallacher surged up the leaderboard with a closing 65, only to be pipped to second by a shot courtesy of David Howell's 63. McGinley subsequently hailed Gallacher's efforts, saying: "His performance last week had a huge effect on me. He really had to go some and he did."

SERGIO GARCIA

Age: 34

World ranking: 3

Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 6 (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012)

Ryder Cup record: 16-8-4

A charismatic and energetic figure who thrives in the heat of a Ryder Cup battle, much like fellow Spaniards Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal did before him, Garcia has been integral to a host of European successes since making his debut in 1999. In addition to boasting a superb record in golf's premier matchplay event, Garcia - a vice-captain to Colin Montgomerie in 2010 at the age of 30 - also heads into this year's tournament on the back of a strong 2014 season. Runner-up at The Open Championship in July, he provided evidence of his improvement on the greens during a sensational second-round 61 at the subsequent WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he again finished second to Rory McIlroy.

MARTIN KAYMER

Age: 29

World ranking: 12

Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 2 (2010, 2012)

Ryder Cup record: 3-2-1

Kaymer will forever be remembered as the man who delivered the decisive stroke in 'The Miracle of Medinah' - a stunning fightback that saw Europe equal the biggest singles comeback in Ryder Cup history to prevail in Illinois two years ago. Short of form heading into the 2012 matches, the German showed his mettle in a final-day singles battle with Steve Stricker, nervelessly sinking a six-foot putt on the 18th to end American hopes of glory. A former world number one, Kaymer has enjoyed notable success this season, triumphing in The Players Championship prior to a stunning eight-shot triumph at the US Open, his second major win.

GRAEME MCDOWELL

Age: 35

World ranking: 18

Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 3 (2008, 2010, 2012)

Ryder Cup record: 5-5-2

McDowell - the beneficiary of Gallacher's narrow failure to secure an automatic qualifying berth - secured victory for Europe at Celtic Manor four years ago, coming out on top in a pivotal singles clash with Hunter Mahan. The US Open champion in 2010, McDowell will be eager to improve on his showing at Medinah in 2012, which saw him claim a solitary point from four matches. Prior to that, the Ulsterman had taken five points out of a possible eight in the Ryder Cup, demonstrating his capacity to excel under pressure.

RORY MCILROY

Age: 25

World ranking: 1

Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 2 (2010, 2012)

Ryder Cup record: 4-3-2

Quite simply the best player on the planet at present, McIlroy will be expected to lead Europe's bid for glory at Gleneagles despite the presence of several players with greater Ryder Cup experience. Recognised as a rare talent long before he claimed a first major title at the 2011 US Open, the 25-year-old hit new heights earlier this year when reeling off three significant wins in a row. A maiden Open Championship triumph at Hoylake was followed by further successes at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and US PGA Championship, prompting many to suggest McIlroy could one day surpass the number of majors won by Tiger Woods (14) and Jack Nicklaus (18).

IAN POULTER

Age: 38

World ranking: 38

Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 4 (2004, 2008, 2010, 2012)

Ryder Cup record: 12-3-0

A certain wildcard pick after failing to qualify automatically, Poulter has the happy knack of saving his best form for the Ryder Cup. The Englishman was chiefly responsible for inspiring Europe's incredible turnaround at Medinah, birdieing the final five holes in his Saturday fourball match to secure victory over Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner alongside McIlroy. Poulter's subsequent singles win against Webb Simpson represented a fourth win in as many outings at the 2012 event and improved his overall Ryder Cup record to 12 points from 15 matches.

JUSTIN ROSE

Age: 34

World ranking: 6

Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 2 (2008, 2012)

Ryder Cup record: 6-3-0

Rose also played a key role in the last Ryder Cup, prevailing alongside Poulter in two foursomes matches before edging out Phil Mickelson in a titanic singles encounter. Having been one down with two to play, Rose holed a huge birdie putt at 17 to prompt gracious applause from his rival and sealed a valuable point for Europe with another gain at the last. The 34-year-old went on to deny Mickelson again in the 2013 US Open at Merion, emerging victorious by two shots to claim his maiden major crown and earn a place in golf's elite.

HENRIK STENSON

Age: 38

World ranking: 5

Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 2 (2006, 2008)

Ryder Cup record: 2-3-2

Stenson will make his first Ryder Cup appearance since 2008, having enjoyed the best year of his career in 2013. The Swede became the first man to win the European Tour's Race to Dubai and the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup in the same season, capping a magnificent return to form after he had previously tumbled out of the world's top 200. Stenson has remained in the top five of the rankings ever since and recorded two top-four finishes in majors this year. He now faces the challenge of improving on a relatively modest Ryder Cup record.

LEE WESTWOOD

Age: 41

World ranking: 44

Previous Ryder Cup appearances: 8 (1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012)

Ryder Cup record: 18-13-6

The most experienced member of Team Europe, Westwood partnered Nick Faldo in four matches during his first Ryder Cup at Valderrama in 1997. One of the best players to have never won a major, he needed to rely on a captain's wildcard this time around, ultimately doing enough to earn selection with improved performances in the second half of the season. "I breathed a sigh of relief," said Westwood after being picked by McGinley at the expense of Luke Donald.

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