Padraig Harrington had the unenviable task of picking three wildcards for the Ryder Cup – and it's even split the opinion of the NCG team

Well, we now know the Ryder Cup teams who will compete at Whistling Straits at the end of September.

When the automatic qualifiers were confirmed following the conclusion of the BMW PGA Championship, European captain Padraig Harrington had the seemingly impossible task of choosing three from Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, and Shane Lowry.

Do you leave out a Ryder Cup stalwart, or a recent Open champion thoroughly deserving of a place?

Our team of writers have their say…

Alex Perry: Who’d be Ryder Cup captain, eh? Imagine having to tell a man who has earned 14 points in five appearances he’s not getting a pick.

Still, it was a nice problem to have, wasn’t it?

The chat on social media seemed to be whether or not Lowry should be in the team. For me he was the one certainty of the four.

Not only was he by far the closest of the three in terms of automatic qualifying, he is also the only one of the three to win a major since the last time Europe and the USA locked horns.

It pains me to say this, but I would have left Poulter at home.

Since the 2012 Ryder Cup, Poulter has contributed just three points from seven matches.

Then there’s the golf course. Poulter’s record at Whistling Straits? Missed cuts in both the 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships. (Rose, for what it’s worth, finished fourth in the latter.)

Poulter is a much-needed face in the dressing room. He should be going as a vice-captain to prepare him for when he has the top job in 2025.

Steve Carroll: Once Shane Lowry so narrowly missed out on automatic qualification, Harrington’s wildcards essentially picked themselves.

Are you really leaving out Europe’s leading points scorer, or the man who has never been defeated in singles and has basically built his career on the back of this competition?

So it boiled down to a straight choice between the Irishman and Justin Rose. Some would point to the latter’s experience, some form on the course in question, and a mini resurgence as compelling arguments for his inclusion.

They’re not wrong. Despite some average outings, particularly during the PGA Tour year where he didn’t even make the playoffs, Rose looks to be trending in a better direction again.

But Lowry’s had to wait for this and has probably done enough through qualification to be included. In a team that’s already packed with experience – just look at the disparity in appearances between the two sides – I’m not averse to seeing some new blood. A former Open champion is just the ticket.

I’m pretty sure he’ll prove at Whistling Straits that Padraig has made the right choice.

Dan Murphy: For some reason, it seems unthinkable not to pick a player like Lowry who has spent the entire qualifying period in the team only to drop out at the final moment. By the same token, someone like Bernd Wiesberger is deemed lucky to make the team.

I’m not sure either of those things are necessarily true but the latter’s stirring efforts in recent weeks have surely caused Captain Harrington to recalculate.

With Lowry a shoo-in – and who am I to deny an Open champion and WGC winner with a strong matchplay record a Ryder Cup debut – and Sergio Garcia also unignorable, for me anyway, that left two going into one for the final spot.

You can’t question either Rose or Poulter’s credentials.
They have been the beating heart of several European teams over the last 10 years and more. My suspicion is that Harrington would have wanted them both in his team room.

Personally, I would have favoured Rose in these circumstances. His overall playing pedigree demands it, and now he has shown some welcome form.

Poulter’s missed cut at Wentworth is not a concern in itself – but his lack of power at a Whistling Straits course that will be the polar opposite of what we saw at tight, penal, strategic Le Golf National certainly is.

At his best, I would have backed him to find a way but I remember how he struggled to contribute significantly at Gleneagles in 2014 on a long course.

Seven years later, I wonder if this might prove a Special Delivery Service too far for Europe’s postman.

Hannah Holden: Harrington has made the right picks to round off his European team. It’s as simple as that.

The experience from Garcia and Poulter will be invaluable, not to mention the fact they are two of the best match players in European history – if not Ryder Cup history.

Lowry, meanwhile has played some really solid golf throughout the qualification period. He is an experienced player, the course will suit him, and he is a fiery character which will be great for the Ryder Cup arena.

Have your say on the Ryder Cup teams

So two of our writers believes Captain Harrington made the right call, while two say he’s got it wrong. We’re split. Are you?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below, or you can join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

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