Karlsson named vice-captain for 2018 Ryder Cup

Swede Robert Karlsson has been confirmed as a vice-captain for Europe at the 2018 Ryder Cup in France.

Captain Thomas Bjorn made the announcement at Barseback Golf & Country Club in Sweden on Wednesday ahead of the start of the Nordea Masters.

Karlsson played in the 2006 and 2008 Ryder Cups, and his career highlights include finishing as European No 1 in 2008 and winning the season-ending Dubai World Championship in 2010.

Injuries and illnesses have hampered the 47-year-old’s career in recent years, but he can’t wait to help captain Bjorn as Europe try to win back the Ryder Cup trophy at Le Golf National near Paris next year.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce Robert Karlsson as my first vice-captain for the 2018 Ryder Cup,” said Bjorn. “I know from all the Ryder Cups I have been involved in, both as a player and vice-captain, is it vital to have people around that you trust implicitly and Robert most definitely fits into that category.

“He has been one of my closest friends on Tour for many years and, not only that, he is immensely respected by all the players, both his peers and the younger guys now emerging.

“His playing credentials are impressive, having been a former European No 1, and he also knows the unique atmosphere of The Ryder Cup, having represented Europe both home and away.

“Robert will be a vital foil for me over the next 16 months in all aspects of our preparation, including helping analyse statistical information on players, and I know he will give me his honest opinion on everything I ask. I am delighted to have him as part of the team.”

Karlsson added: “To get the call from Thomas was very special and I’m really looking forward to being part of the Ryder Cup again. It is a great honour to be a vice-captain and I’m very much looking forward to the next 16 months.

“I’ve played in two Ryder Cups so I have the experience of what the players will face and also have a lot of experience on the European Tour. I know the players well and I know Thomas very well too, and I will be there to do whatever he needs me to do.”

Last year’s Ryder Cup saw the Americans complete a 17-11 drubbing at Hazeltine, and they will travel to France hoping to end a 25-year unbeaten record as the host team.