Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari to captain at inaugural Hero Cup

Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari were named as playing captains of their respective teams for the upcoming Hero Cup.

Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald will oversee the event in Abu Dhabi from January 13-15, with two 10-man teams competing in foursomes, fourballs and singles and all 20 players taking part in each session.

Fleetwood and Molinari will select nine players to join them on the Great Britain and Ireland and Continental Europe teams respectively.

The competition effectively fills the gap left by the Seve Trophy, which was held eight times between 2000 and 2013 and gave captaincy experience to future Ryder Cup skippers Colin Montgomerie, Jose Maria Olazabal, Nick Faldo, Paul McGinley and Thomas Bjorn.

Molinari and Fleetwood won all four of their matches together in the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris, earning the nickname 'Moliwood'.

Molinari said: "The Hero Cup is a great idea and will be a very good way for European players to get some more experience of playing in team match play. I definitely felt like it benefited me when I played in similar events in the past.

"Hopefully as captains Tommy and I can bring some of our own experience of team golf to help the other players and we are looking forward to working with Luke on this exciting new concept ahead of a big year for European golf with the Ryder Cup taking place in my home country."

Fleetwood added: "Fran and I obviously get on very well so I am sure it will feel a little strange at first being opposing captains, but I think the Hero Cup is a fantastic way for players to compete in team match play, which is something both of us have always relished."

The 2023 Ryder Cup takes place at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome from September 29 to October 1.

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