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rory mcilroy

A Ryder Cup with just captain’s picks you say? Here’s who makes the team

There has been talk of scrapping Ryder Cup qualification and letting the captains pick the teams. So we thought we'd have some fun with it. Is this how Team Europe will look in September?
 

Whether or not the Ryder Cup goes ahead is very much up in the air, and one suggestion that has been put forward is it could go ahead with 24 players all picked by the captains, Padraig Harrington and Steve Stricker. So that got us thinking, what might the European Ryder Cup team look like in that scenario? Four of our writers pick their 12 and we’ll do the maths at the end to see who’s headed to Whistling Straits…

My Ryder Cup team: Alex Perry

Rory McIlroy
I’m not going to insult you with a reason.

Jon Rahm
Will take over from Ian Poulter as Europe’s talisman for years to come. El Cartero, if you will.

Tommy Fleetwood
Proved in France he’s not all about being Mr Nice Guy.

Justin Rose
Tell me he hasn’t done enough to be included?

Shane Lowry
Has told me to my face that he’s desperate for a Ryder Cup cap. Now a major champion, it’s happening.

Tyrrell Hatton
Felt a bit timid on his debut in Paris but he’s a tenacious so-and-so and maybe an away Ryder Cup is the best way to bring that out.

Francesco Molinari
Fallen off the face since his Masters collapse so I feel obligated to use this opportunity to let him get his career back on track. That and the Moliwood thing.

Sergio Garcia
I actually wouldn’t have picked him for Paris. How wrong I was. He’s in.

Ian Poulter
This is his arena. His one last chance to stick it to the Americans in their own back yard.

Henrik Stenson
While we were all crooning over Moliwood in Paris, the Iceman was quietly collecting three points from three. He’s in.

Victor Hovland
I like this kid’s moxie. He’ll pick off his opposition one by one and all with a beaming smile on his face.

Matt Wallace
I want two rookies and Wallace was unfortunate to miss out last time. I quite like the idea of sending him and Hatton out like two little terriers after a long car drive.

My Ryder Cup team: Dan Murphy

Rory McIlroy
No explanation required.

Jon Rahm
I’d like to see this Spanish bull intimidating his opponents in his second Ryder Cup.

Sergio Garcia
The record points-scorer has at least one more match in him.

Tommy Fleetwood
Surprising that he only has one previous appearance to his name.

Henrik Stenson
Formidable in this format an an older statesman.

Justin Rose
I’m sure he’ll be back to his normal self come September.

Paul Casey
Still a class act and has a great record in the Ryder Cup.

Tyrrell Hatton
Let nobody down in Paris and has grown since then.

Matt Fitzpatrick
Been around for a while now and is underrated simply on account of being small. He shouldn’t be. Discounted that is, not small.

Danny Willett
Gradually starting to play like he did when he won the Masters – but stronger, wiser and better technically.

Graeme McDowell
He was brilliant on his most recent appearance at Gleneagles and has played like his old self for a good year now.

Viktor Hovland
Surely a fixture for years to come. Let’s blood him this year in what is an otherwise highly experienced team.

My Ryder Cup team: Hannah Holden

Rory McIlroy
Leading the team out. No questions about this pick.

Jon Rahm
He brought some serious firepower to the team in 2018 and took down Tiger in singles.

Ian Poulter
I don’t actually have to explain this one do I?

Tommy Fleetwood
He’s been in great form and has lots of experience in America. He is also a good putter has a fantastic Ryder Cup record.

Francesco Molinari
Moliwood. Duh.

Sergio Garcia
Crucial in Paris and I don’t see why he can’t do that again.

Justin Rose
He has a good track record in Ryder Cups overseas and is still one of our highest ranked players in the world rankings.

Henrik Stenson
Great foursomes player for Rose and 100% record in Paris makes this a no brainer.

Paul Casey
Having more players based in the US is extremely helpful in an away match.

Graeme McDowell
He won all his matches last time he played in the Ryder Cup in the US. Great foursomes player and great putter.

Shane Lowry
Reigning Open champion the passion and excitement he brought to the Open in Ireland under the pressure of a home crowd was outstanding and I think he would embrace the pressure of a Ryder Cup in the States.

Victor Hovland
He’s already racked up a PGA Tour victory and nearly climbed into the top 50 in the world after less than a year on tour.

Masters

My Ryder Cup team: Steve Carroll

Rory McIlroy
World No 1. No more needs to be said.

Jon Rahm
Took down Tiger on singles Sunday last time out and should be the passionate heart of Europe for years to come.

Tommy Fleetwood
Inside that easy going exterior beats the heart of a ruthless match play exponent. His partnership with Molinari could be the new Seve/Olly pairing.

Tyrrell Hatton
One point out of three in France but Tyrrell would have learned from that and no one can doubt his tenacity.

Paul Casey
Solid at Le Golf National after a 10-year absence, confident Casey would surely like nothing better than to be the man at Whistling Straits.

Justin Rose
Don’t care about form, he’s proved enough in this cauldron over the years to be given the benefit of the doubt at least once.

Shane Lowry
If an Open champion and WGC winner doesn’t play in a Ryder Cup then something is amiss.

Henrik Stenson
I’d still be picking Stenson when he’s 60.

Francesco Molinari
Dunking the Green Jacket at the 15th looks to have left a mark. But I’m not leaving out the man who went 5/5 at Le Golf National.

Ian Poulter
An inspirational servant for so many years, this would probably be his last Ryder Cup as a player. He’d be determined to stick it to the Americans in their own back yard.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello
The forgotten hero of that rather drab effort at Hazeltine, with Thomas Pieters, Rafa was unlucky not to get in as Bjorn went for experience in his wildcards two years ago.

Matthew Fitzpatrick
Gets the nod ahead of Garcia. It feels very odd leaving out the record points scorer, and maybe that would come back to bite me, but Fitz has something to prove after Hazeltine and this pick is more about the future.

NCG’s final 2020 Ryder Cup team

1. Rory McIlroy (4 votes)
2. Jon Rahm (4 votes)
3. Tommy Fleetwood (4 votes)
4. Justin Rose (4 votes)
5. Henrik Stenson (4 votes)
6. Tyrrell Hatton (3 votes)
7. Francesco Molinari (3 votes)
8. Sergio Garcia (3 votes)
9. Ian Poulter (3 votes)
10. Paul Casey (3 votes)
11. Shane Lowry (3 votes)
12. Viktor Hovland (3 votes)

Missing out:

1. Graeme McDowell (2 votes)
2. Matt Fitzpatrick (2 votes)
3. Matt Wallace (1 vote)
4. Danny Willett (1 vote)
5. Rafa Cabrera-Bello (1 vote)

Do you agree with our selections for the Ryder Cup team? Who would make your team? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for free online golf instruction, the latest equipment reviews, and much, much more.

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Tour:

Alex Perry

Alex Perry

Alex has been the editor of National Club Golfer since 2017. A Devonian who enjoys wittering on about his south west roots, Alex moved north to join NCG after more than a decade in London, the last five of which were with ESPN. Away from golf, Alex follows Torquay United and spends too much time playing his PlayStation or his guitar and not enough time practising his short game.

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