The Niggle: Who would be in your Ryder Cup team?July 23, 2014 Golf News
As Gleneagles draws nearer, we give our wildcard picks
If Ryder Cup qualification was to finish now, the European team would include Rory McIlroy, Victor Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Thomas Bjorn and Luke Donald.
If things remained the same, which three players do you think Paul McGinley should add to his team as wildcard picks?
Members of our team give their views.
Jamie Miles (JM) – On paper this should be an easy decision – for two of the three anyway. Graeme McDowell is a no brainer. He has won this year and despite fluctuation in form no one would want to face him in 18 hole matchplay. For the same reason, you’d have to go with Ian Poulter. But rather than the more obvious choice of Lee Westwood, I’d go for Stephen Gallacher. He is good enough and may well force his way on to the team anyway. And the home crowd will go berserk with a Scot in the ranks. As an outsider, Marc Warren could be a consideration as he’s been playing quite well and a late surge in form could see him take the spot I have given to Gallacher.
James Savage (JS) – I can’t argue with your first two picks and just cannot see a scenario where Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter are not playing in two of the first four matches, let alone the event itself. And with the experience of those two I think we can afford to go for a rookie as the third pick. Ireland’s Shane Lowry has been in great form recently and his 65 in the final round of the Open for a tied ninth finish, will not have gone un-noticed by the skipper.
I’m always a big fan of having a home-based player so, if Stephen Gallacher doesn’t quite make it then I’d include him" Mark Townsend (MT) – If Ian Poulter doesn’t make it automatically then there are two picks left. He’s won his last seven straight matches. I’m always a big fan of having a home-based player so, if Stephen Gallacher doesn’t quite make it then I’d include him. Then it would be a choice between Francesco Molinari, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell. As things stand it’s not looking good for Westwood. I’d probably plump for Graeme McDowell, just.
Chris Bertram (CB) – Ian Poulter is a given; even though he has frequently struggled to make the team he somehow manages to produce the goods when the matches start. McGinley’s line about him turning into an actor during the Ryder Cup is spot on. I would also select Lee Westwood for all the obvious reasons of experience and long-game solidity, but also because he is a very flexible partner – he can play both formats and has dovetailed well with lots of different personalities. And finally I would complete the most pathetically obvious of line-ups with Graeme McDowell, for his matchplay nous and putting.
Tom Irwin (TI) – Lee Westwood – We need people who are genuine proven stars who won’t be intimidated. He is desperate to beat the points record, short game is sorted, and has that winning feeling from Ryder Cups passed. Shane Lowry – A big man for big events. Has won on tour and won’t be intimidated. Crucially he will make the ideal fourball partner for his mate McIlroy. Our foursome pairs will be all the old hands, but a rookie always shines in the betterball and the burly Irishman is yer man. Graeme McDowell – Brilliant putter, has won this year, no one will want him in the singles and he loves it. What about Poults?! The Postman’s round has to come to an end at some point, he is chronically short of form and G-Macs major class gets him the nod for me.
WHO WOULD YOU PICK FOR GLENEAGLES?
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