Golf’s greatest team event, the Ryder Cup, returns this weekend.

Europe will attempt to retain the Ryder Cup against the United States at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

These are the 12 men who will try and keep the cup in European hands.

Jon Rahm

The Herald: Jon Rahm. Credit: PAJon Rahm. Credit: PA

The 26-year-old won his first major this year when he lifted the US Open at Torrey Pines. But it has been a year blighted by Covid issues for the Spaniard.

He was forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament when leading by six shots after 54 holes due to a positive Covid test. He also missed the Olympics after testing positive again.

Rahm has one former Ryder Cup appearance, in 2018, with a record of 1-2-0.

Viktor Hovland

The Herald: Viktor Hovland. Credit: PAViktor Hovland. Credit: PA

The first Norwegian to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup, 23-year-old Hovland has enjoyed a rapid rise up the world rankings since turning professional thanks to two wins on the PGA Tour and a maiden European Tour title in the BMW International in June.

It will be Hovland's first appearance at the Ryder Cup.

Tommy Fleetwood

The Herald: Tommy Fleetwood. Credit: PATommy Fleetwood. Credit: PA

One of the heroes of the 2018 Ryder Cup, Englishman Fleetwood has a 4-1-0 record after winning all matches with partner Francesco Molinari.

The 30-year-old will need a new partner this time round after Molinari failed to make the team.

Rory McIlroy

The Herald: Rory McIlroy. Credit: PARory McIlroy. Credit: PA

This will be the four-time major winners sixth Ryder Cup appearance.

The Northern Irishman has a record of 11-9-4.

The 32-year-old had a chance to win the US Open this year before eventually finishing seventh and also missed out in the seven-man play-off for Olympic bronze.

Paul Casey

The Herald: Paul Casey. Credit: PAPaul Casey. Credit: PA

Casey returned to the side after a 10-year absence in Paris in 2018 after being given a wild card by captain Thomas Bjorn.

Hon one of his two fourball matches alongside Tyrrell Hatton and halved with four-time major winner Brooks Koepka in the singles.

The 44-year-old has a Ryder Cup record of 4-3-5.

Tyrrell Hatton

The Herald: Tyrrell Hatton. Credit: PATyrrell Hatton. Credit: PA

Hatton won for the first time in America in March 2020, picking up the prestigous Arnold Palmer Invitational. 

The 29-year-old then picked up the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in October.

He started 2021 with victory in Abu Dhabi to effectively secure a second Ryder Cup appearance.

Hatton won one of his two matches alongside Paul Casey in Paris before losing to Patrick Reed in the singles.

Lee Westwood

The Herald: Lee Westwood. Credit: PALee Westwood. Credit: PA

This will be the 48-year-old's 11th Ryder Cup appearance after making his debut in 1997.

Westwood will equal Sir Nick Faldo's record of 11 appearances in Wisconsin and holds a record of 20-18-6.

Matt Fitzpatrick

The Herald: Matt Fitzpatrick. Credit: PAMatt Fitzpatrick. Credit: PA

Fitzpatrick, 27, will be hoping for a more positive Ryder Cup appearance in his second cap.

He endured an unhappy debut at Hazeltine in 2016, sitting out the opening day and then losing his foursomes match with Henrik Stenson on Saturday before being sent out last in the singles and suffering a 4&3 defeat to Zach Johnson.

Bernd Wiesberger

The Herald: Bernd Wiesberger. Credit: PABernd Wiesberger. Credit: PA

The 35-year-old looked set to move into the automatic qualifying places by winning the Omega European Masters, only to double bogey the 72nd hole and lose by a shot.

He went into the final qualifying event needing at least a top-50 finish to make the team and recovered from being three over par after six holes on day one to finish in a tie for 20th, becoming the first Austrian to make a Ryder Cup team.

Ian Poulter

The Herald: Ian Poulter. Credit: PAIan Poulter. Credit: PA

Nicknamed ‘The Postman’ because he always delivers a point, Poulter was forced to settle for a vice-captaincy role in 2016 due to injury and looked to have lost his PGA Tour card in 2017 before a mistake in the way his points had been calculated was spotted by a fellow player.

Now making his seventh Ryder Cup appearance, Poulter has an all time record of 14-6-2.

Sergio Garcia

The Herald: Sergio Garcia. Credit: PASergio Garcia. Credit: PA

A talismanic figure for Europe, so much so that he was brought in as a vice-captain by Colin Montgomerie in 2010 despite becoming disenchanted with golf and taking a two-month break from playing.

Was out of form when given a wild card in 2018 but justified it in style with three wins from four matches to become Europe’s leading points scorer in the contest.

No one has won more Ryder Cup points than Garcia, who has an all time record of 22-12-7.

Shane Lowry

The Herald: Shane Lowry. Credit: PAShane Lowry. Credit: PA

The 2019 Open winner looked set to pick up an automatic qualifying place but was pushed out by Weisberger in the final qualifying event.

The 34-year-old made no secret of his desire to qualify for the team, but was keen to qualify on merit and save his good friend Harrington from having to give him a wild card.

In the end he had to settle for a captain's pick, and will make his Ryder Cup debut this week.