Bjorn names Karlsson as his first Ryder Cup vice-captain


Robert Karlsson has been named as Europe's first vice-captain for the 2018 Ryder Cup, skipper Thomas Bjorn confirmed on Wednesday.

A playing participant in the biennial event in 2006 and 2008, Karlsson has won 11 titles on the European Tour.

His appointment to Bjorn's backroom team was announced on the eve of the Nordea Masters, taking place in Karlsson's native Sweden.

"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," said Bjorn.

"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 number one, 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."

Le Golf National in France hosts the next edition of the Ryder Cup in September 2018, with Europe aiming to retain the trophy following their defeat at Hazeltine last year.