Certainly, the team aspect of the Ryder Cup makes this a spectacle like none other in golf, and while the teams get an opportunity to bond in atypical style, so do the wives and girlfriends, who are often in the spotlight during the biennial event.
Scottie Scheffler, eager to make his first appearance for the U.S. team in this week’s tournament at Whistling Straits, explained during Tuesday’s press conference how important spouses and partners can be.
“The wives and girlfriends are really involved, which I think is fun,” Scheffler said. “I think with everybody’s wives being there it’s very comfortable for everybody just to be in the team room hanging out, wives, girlfriends all getting to know each other as well as — I would say that’s probably better — the wives and girlfriends get to know each other because they don’t see each other on a daily basis, because we do.
“I’ve seen these 11 guys at the same events for the past two years, so I know all of them pretty well, but our wives don’t necessarily know each other.”
With the first tee shot fast approaching, here’s a look at the wives and families of the 2021 European Ryder Cup team. (Significant others for Viktor Hovland, Matt Fitzpatrick and Bernd Wiesberger were not included.)
No. 1 Jon Rahm’s wife: Kelley Cahill
Jon Rahm celebrates holding the trophy as he poses with his wife Kelley Cahill and son Kepa Cahill Rahm after winning the U.S. Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Rahm and Kelly Cahill met at Arizona State where he was the standout golfer and she was a track & field athlete. Rahm proposed to his college sweetheart in June 2018 before the U.S. Open while on a hike in La Jolla, California. They officially tied the knot in Spain, after Rahm painted a picture of a lovely Catholic wedding at the church he grew up going to in Bilbao, Spain, and explained what he was looking forward to most about the big day. “I think when I see those doors open and see her walking down the aisle for the first time, I think it’s going to be what I’m looking forward to the most, that first moment of seeing her walk down the aisle,” Rahm said. “But there’s so many possible parts of the day I could mention, but I think that’s the single moment probably that I’m looking forward to the most.” Just days before the 2021 Masters, the 26-year-old posted a photo alongside his wife on Instagram to announce the birth of their baby boy, Kepa.
No. 15 Rory McIlroy‘s wife: Erica Stoll
Erica Stoll and Rory McIlroy of Europe depart the 2016 Ryder Cup Opening Ceremony at Hazeltine National Golf Club on September 29, 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
McIlroy met Erica Stoll, a former PGA of America employee, at the 2012 Ryder Cup when he famously overslept due to the time change and needed a ride to the course. The couple became engaged in December 2015 in Paris, and married in April 2017 at Ashford Castle in Cong, County Mayo. As for the wedding, it cost around $1.2 million and featured a list of high-profile invitees that included Niall Horan, Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry, Ed Sheeran, Chris Martin, Paul McGinley, Padraig Harrington, billionaire J.P. McManus, actors Jimmy Nesbitt and Jamie Dornan, and former Manchester United player Ryan Giggs. They had their first child, Poppy Kennedy McIlroy, in 2020.
No. 19 Tyrrell Hatton’s wife: Emily Braisher
Tyrrell Hatton of England takes a picture as then-girlfriend Emily Braisher putts on the ninth green during the 2019 Par 3 Contest at Augusta National Golf Club. Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports.
It was unsettling enough that wedding plans needed to be altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, which led Hatton and his longtime girlfriend, Emily Braisher, to wed alone May 28 in Asheville, North Carolina. And then things didn’t go as planned on the way to “I do.” “The day wasn’t very smooth,” Hatton said ahead of his start in the Palmetto Championship at Congaree. “Our driver turned up an hour late, so that meant we arrived half an hour late for our ceremony. “Obviously, it wasn’t ideal. I think the most frustrated I got was when we were actually in the car driving there because the fact that he pitched up an hour late and then was driving under the speed limit. I politely asked him to use the right pedal and press a little harder to try and make up a little bit of time.”
No. 24 Paul Casey’s wife: Pollyanna Woodward
Paul Casey and wife Pollyanna pose during the afternoon foursome matches of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National on September 28, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Casey and his wife, the former Pollyanna Woodward, met back in 2011 during the Formula 1 Chequered Flag Ball at a Grand Prix event in Abu Dhabi. She has been a TV star, appearing on a number of shows including The Gadget Show, which was on British television. The couple got engaged around Christmas in 2013 and then tied the knot in January 2015. They now live in Arizona — Paul was a star for Arizona State University — and have two children, a son Lex and a daughter, Astaria.
No. 35 Lee Westwood’s wife: Helen Storey
Mar 14, 2021; Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA; Lee Westwood and his caddie Helen Storey on the second green during the final round of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports.
Westwood’s caddie is his best friend and wife, Helen Storey, who began carrying his bag in the fall of 2018 after Westwood split with long-time caddie Billy Foster. Shortly after the switch, Westwood earned his first European Tour win since 2014 with Storey at his side. “I think at my stage of my career, there’s not a lot a caddie can tell me, but obviously Helen gets me in a fantastic mood out there, and psychologically she can help me and say the things that I need to hear,” he said. “She helps me in that aspect an immeasurable amount.”
No. 37 Tommy Fleetwood’s wife: Clare Craig
Tommy Fleetwood of England and wife Clare Fleetwood pose with the Ryder Cup Trophy before departing Heathrow Airport ahead of the 43rd Ryder Cup on September 20, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Clare Craig had a successful career before she became Fleetwood’s manager in 2015 as she’d previously been the vice president of Hambric Europe, which manages professional athletes. Fleetwood married Craig, 20 years his elder, in the fall of 2017 in the Bahamas. When the couple had their first child together — Craig has two children from a previous marriage — Fleetwood withdrew from the 2017 British Masters to be by his wife’s side.
No. 42 Shane Lowry’s wife: Wendy Honner
Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug, wife Wendy and daughter Iris on the 18th green during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images).
Lowry and Wendy Honner first met during a “random night out” in 2012. Honner, a nurse, and Lowry have been together ever since. Lowry proposed in Dubai in 2014. The couple got married in New York in 2016, the week after the Masters. They kept the wedding size limited. “The guest list [was spiraling] and I get stressed very easily, so we decided the big white wedding at home was not what we wanted,” Lowry told the Irish Independent. Their first daughter, Iris, was born in March 2017, and a second, Ivy, was born in September of 2021.
No. 43 Sergio Garcia’s wife: Angela Akins
Sergio Garcia of Spain kisses his wife Angela Akins Garcia holding daughter Azalea Adele Garcia on the ninth green during the 2019 Par 3 Contest at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports.
Garcia got engaged a few months before the 2017 Masters, so it was no surprise to some fans that the famed Spanish golfer finally won the major that had long eluded him. His wife Angela was a golfer at both TCU and Texas and later worked for the Golf Channel. She is the daughter of former Texas Longhorns quarterback Marty Akins, the 1975 Southwest Conference Player of the Year, and her first cousin is quarterback Drew Brees. The couple gave birth to a baby girl named Azalea Adele, named for the famed azaleas that fill Augusta National, where Garcia won his first major. They later had a son, Enzo, in 2020.
No. 50 Ian Poulter’s wife: Katie Gadsden
Ian Poulter of Europe poses with the Ryder Cup trophy and wife Katie Poulter after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014, in Auchterarder, Scotland. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Poulter met his wife, Katie, when she was working as a nurse. The couple has four children named Aimee-Leigh, Luke, Lily-Mai and Joshua, and they live in the Lake Nona, Florida, neighborhood that a number of Tour players call home. Our favorite story concerning Katie includes a $100 bill signed by Arnold Palmer. Poulter had a copy of a photo with Palmer and Jack Nicklaus and decided he’d have each sign a $100 to put into a nice frame to hang in the home office. One problem: he opened the home safe one day and the $100 bill he’d had Palmer sign was nowhere to be found. Katie had spent it. Asked where she spent the money, Poulter said, “I have no idea. Not a clue. It was probably in Publix (a Florida supermarket chain), to be honest. She probably went to get some groceries. But it was shock horror when I actually did go in there to put it in the frame. You can imagine what I said … ‘Where’s the $100 bill gone?’ ” «What hundred?» his wife answered. Adds Poulter, “She says, ‘I don’t know, I must have spent it.’ ”