‘No guarantees on tattoo’: Luke Donald not promising ink if Europe win Ryder Cup

Thomas Bjorn vowed to get a tattoo if Europe beat the United States in 2018, and followed through on his word three months later

Phil Casey
Tuesday 26 September 2023 11:50 BST
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Luke Donald says he will “find a suitable way to celebrate if it goes our way on Sunday” (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Luke Donald says he will “find a suitable way to celebrate if it goes our way on Sunday” (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Europe captain Luke Donald has no plans to follow the example of Thomas Bjorn and get a tattoo if his team regain the Ryder Cup in Rome.

Bjorn promised his players in 2018 he would get himself inked if they beat the United States at Le Golf National in Paris, which they comfortably did by seven points.

The Dane followed through on his word three months later, but Donald is not intending to follow suit if the result goes his side’s way at Marco Simone.

“No guarantees on the tattoo,” Donald said with a smile. “I certainly don’t have any on my body, just to let you in. But I’m sure we can find a suitable way to celebrate if it goes our way on Sunday.”

Padraig Harrington had pledged to get a tattoo in 2021, but was spared the task after his side suffered a record defeat at Whistling Straits.

“If my team produce a winning week I will be getting a tattoo to mark the occasion, and I’m very comfortable that they only asked that much of me because I would have given more,” Harrington said at the time.

“I think it’s an unwritten rule, so it has come up in conversation. But definitely, it’s a given now in Europe: captain has to get a tattoo.”

Donald was speaking on the first official day of practice after sending his 12 players out in groups of four which offered a hint at several potential pairings.

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry were in the first group alongside Sepp Straka and Tommy Fleetwood, with Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg in group two.

Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose, Robert MacIntyre and Nicolai Hojgaard made up the final group.

“In terms of the pairings, some of that is determined on media rotations,” Donald said. “Six of the guys today will be doing media, so you send those off in the early groups. So I wouldn’t read too much into it.

“Obviously we do have a plan in place and that plan can be adjusted throughout the next few days. The vice-captains are out there watching the players and seeing how they look and how they feel and all that goes into it.

“But yeah, there’s certainly a plan that is in place.”

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