Ryder Cup 2016: Who will be Darren's aces at Hazeltine?

Golf News

With the Ryder Cup fast approaching we assess captain Darren Clarke's wildcard options..

In a matter of weeks, Captain Clarke will have to choose his Ryder Cup wildcards. Steve Carroll assesses the options for Team Europe as Hazeltine approaches:

LEE WESTWOOD

Ryder Cup

ENGLAND

AGE: 43

PREVIOUS APPEARANCES: 9

RECORD: P41 W20 H6 L15. PTS 23

WHY HE’LL PICK HIM: The pair are thick as thieves on tour and they once bought a private jet together. Westwood has shown form this season on the big stage, contending at the Masters and US Open.

WHY HE WON’T: Not applicable – he will be at Hazeltine.


MARTIN KAYMER

Ryder Cup 2016

GERMANY

AGE: 31

PREVIOUS APPEARANCES: 3

RECORD: P10 W4 H3 L3. PTS 5.5

WHY HE’LL PICK HIM: In a team featuring several rookies, Kaymer brings Majorwinning experience and sunk the winning putt at Medinah in 2012. Has also won the Players and was T4th in July’s PGA.

WHY HE WON’T: Form is up and down and Kaymer seems to play in spurts.


SHANE LOWRY

Ryder Cup 2016

IRELAND

AGE: 29

PREVIOUS APPEARANCES: 0

RECORD: N/A

WHY HE’LL PICK HIM: Has bloomed into a world-beater and, but for final round calamity, could well have won the US Open. Has won a WGC in America.

WHY HE WON’T: Clarke might pack wild cards with experience with several rookies already in the side.


GRAEME MCDOWELL

Ryder Cup 2016

NORTHERN IRELAND

AGE: 36

PREVIOUS APPEARANCES: 4

RECORD: P15 W8 H2 L5. PTS 9

WHY HE’LL PICK HIM: Won the crucial match at Celtic Manor as Europe lifted the cup and his efforts with Dubuisson were outstanding at Gleneagles.

WHY HE WON’T: Is he playing well enough to keep others out? Form is mixed.


TYRRELL HATTON

Ryder Cup 2016

ENGLAND

AGE: 24

PREVIOUS APPEARANCES: 0

RECORD: N/A

WHY HE’LL PICK HIM: Buckinghamshire player has overcome issues with emotions to reveal outstanding talent. Top 10s at the Open and PGA so is bang in form.

WHY HE WON’T: Glides under the radar and receives little attention despite results.


LUKE DONALD 

Ryder Cup 2016

ENGLAND

AGE: 38

PREVIOUS APPEARANCES: 4

RECORD: P15 W10 H1 L4. PTS 10 1/2

WHY HE’LL PICK HIM: A former world No 1, Donald has never played on a losing Ryder Cup team. Fabled iron play could be a factor if fairways are tight.

WHY HE WON’T: Hasn’t recovered following swing changes and his career looks to be in decline.


VICTOR DUBUISSON

Ryder Cup 2016

FRANCE

AGE: 26

PREVIOUS APPEARANCES: 1

RECORD: P3 W2 H1 L0. PTS 2 1/2

WHY HE’LL PICK HIM: Took to the format straight away and formed brilliant foursomes partnership with Graeme McDowell in 2014.

WHY HE WON’T: Sometimes aloof and has produced some very ordinary displays in 2016. Others in the hunt are in better form.


SOREN KJELDSEN

Ryder Cup 2016

DENMARK 

AGE: 41

PREVIOUS APPEARANCES: 0

RECORD: N/A

WHY HE’LL PICK HIM: Tied-7th at Augusta and T-9th at Royal Troon this year, Kjeldsen is delivering on the biggest of stages. They don’t come bigger than the Ryder Cup.

WHY HE WON’T: Profile may hinder him as Clarke turns to more household names.


RUSSELL KNOX

Ryder Cup 2016

SCOTLAND

AGE: 31

PREVIOUS APPEARANCES: 0

RECORD: N/A

WHY HE’LL PICK HIM: PGA Tour player joined European Tour in a bid to qualify for the team, showing the kind of commitment Paul Casey was not prepared to do. That will please Clarke.

WHY HE WON’T: There may be bigger fish in the wildcard pond.


JAMIE DONALDSON

Ryder Cup 2016

WALES

AGE: 40

PREVIOUS APPEARANCES: 1

RECORD: P4 W3 H0 L1. PTS 3

WHY HE’LL PICK HIM: Hit the ground running at Gleneagles, combining well with Lee Westwood and hitting the winning shot in singles in hammering of Keegan Bradley.

WHY HE WON’T: Equalled worst ever Major score at the Open and can’t make cuts.


ANDREW JOHNSTON

Ryder Cup 2016

ENGLAND

AGE: 27

PREVIOUS APPEARANCES: 0

RECORD: N/A

WHY HE’LL PICK HIM: A crowd favourite who could galvanise European support, Beef can also play as shown in Spanish Open win and performance at the Open.

WHY HE WON’T: Would be a huge step up for a newcomer to the world stage.

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