Garcia, Poulter, Stenson, Casey added to Team Europe
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[September 06, 2018]
Captain Thomas Bjorn opted for
experience in completing his Ryder Cup roster for Team Europe on
Bjorn selected Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson and Paul
Casey as his four captain's picks. The quartet collectively boasts
20 combined previous Ryder Cups, which Bjorn is counting on to help
balance out the five rookies among Team Europe's eight automatic
The four will join Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose,
Thorbjorn Olesen, Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood and Alex
Notable names not on Team Europe for next month's event at Le Golf
National in Paris include Rafa Cabrera-Bello, who narrowly missed
out on an automatic spot on the team and is coming off a
seventh-place finish at the Dell Technologies Championship on
Monday. Big-hitting Belgian Thomas Pieters, who went 4-0-1 as a
Ryder Cup rookie in 2016 and is coming off a strong showing at the
PGA Championship, also did not get the call, nor did Russell Knox,
who won the Irish Open in July.
Also not on the team are Englishmen Matt Wallace, who has three
victories in his past 15 starts on the European Tour but has yet to
compete in a Ryder Cup, and Matthew Fitzpatrick, whose run at an
automatic spot also fell just short.
"It's not been the easiest (of decisions), but it's a privileged
situation for me to be in having that many to choose from," Bjorn
said. "There were a couple of disappointed people on the phone, but
it's about the four that made it (on picks) and the eight that made
it on merit."
The Ryder Cup will begin Sept. 28.
Bjorn is making a gamble on Garcia, who missed the cut at all four
majors this season, and Stenson, who has been dealing with an elbow
injury and has broken 70 only three times in 20 rounds at Le Golf
However, each of the four wild card selections has won at least half
of his career Ryder Cup matches.
"All four bring loads of experience and loads of points won and are
great for the team room," Bjorn told reporters in London. "You need
people like that, who have been there and done it, positively and
[to top of second column]
Sergio Garcia of Spain hits off the third tee during the second day
of practice for the 2018 Masters
at Augusta National
in Augusta, Georgia, U.S. April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File
Garcia has only one top-10 finish since March, but it did come at Le
Golf National. He will be making his ninth Ryder Cup appearance.
"He's the heartbeat of the team," Bjorn said. "It's like a football
team going in without their captain.
"Not only is he a fantastic player, but what he also brings is he
makes everyone around him better. He is what's great about the
European team room."
Poulter has enjoyed several memorable Ryder Cup moments,
particularly with his putter. He returns to the team after failing
to qualify for the 2016 event, which Team Europe lost at Hazeltine
in Chaska, Minn. He is undefeated in singles in his Ryder Cup career
and is 14-4 overall.
"It's an extremely strong U.S. team," Poulter said, "but when you
look at the European team on paper, I am getting goosebumps just
talking about it."
Casey joins his fourth Ryder Cup team, and his first since 2008. He
gave up his European membership after failing to earn a wild card in
2010, but rejoined the tour last year with a goal of participating
in the Ryder Cup.
Olesen, Rahm, Hatton, Fleetwood and Noren will be making their Ryder
United States captain Jim Furyk will announce his final captain's
pick after this week's BMW Championship.
Team Europe has not lost on home soil in 25 years.
--Field Level Media
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