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Betting suspended as Luke Donald heavily backed to be one of Clarke's captain's picks

The former world number one is fancied to be named alongside Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer tomorrow.

Luke Donald.
Luke Donald.
Image: Chuck Burton

LUKE DONALD IS expected to be named as one of Darren Clarke’s three captain’s picks tomorrow for his European Ryder Cup team after betting was suspended on the Englishman’s inclusion.

Clarke is expected to add experience to his line-up after debutants — Matt Fitzpatrick, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Andy Sullivan, Chris Wood and Danny Willett — claimed five of the nine automatic qualification spots for next month’s event at Hazeltine.

Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood were considered near certainties to get the nod from the Northern Irishman with Russell Knox and Thomas Pieters thought to be fighting it out for the final spot.

Scottish golfer Knox has had a remarkable season which included two PGA Tour wins while Pieters has been in electric form of late, finishing fourth at the Olympics, second at the Czech Masters and going one better when claiming the win at the Made in Denmark event on Sunday.

But now it appears that Donald, a 5/2 shot with William Hill this morning and without a tournament win 2012, is the man Clarke will call upon tomorrow. The bookmaker suspending betting this afternoon after Donald’s odds shortened to 1/100.

Former world number one Donald missed out on selection two years ago and showed flashes of his old self when finishing second at last week’s Wyndham Championship.

Donald has played in four Ryder Cups (2004, ’06, ’10, ’12), all of which were won by Europe.

Meanwhile, Davis Love III reassured Rickie Fowler that he is is an “obvious pick” for the Ryder Cup after he missed out on automatic qualification for the United States team at The Barclays on Sunday.

Source: Kathy Kmonicek

Fowler looked set to book his spot in Love’s side when he started the final round with a one-shot advantage over Patrick Reed at Bethpage Black, but could only finish in a share of seventh when he needed a top-three finish to ensure he will face Europe once again.

Reed took the title and an automatic place in the US team, with Brandt Snedeker and Zach Johnson also assured of their participation in the event.

Love must pick another four players and it would appear that Fowler will be among the quartet to get the nod.

We are really excited about our chances,” Love told Sky Sports News HQ.

“It was great to see Patrick play so well, and Ricky.

“Ricky is trending up, he is starting to make a whole lot of putts. Unfortunately, all his bogeys seemed to come in the last nine holes, but he had a great week as well and is hitting the ball very well.

“Certainly, you want to secure your position, you want to be in that top eight. He wanted it desperately and it might have hurt him a little bit coming down the stretch.

“But he is playing well, he was in good spirits last night. He is excited about his chances in the play-offs and, if he keeps up this kind of play, he is going to be an obvious pick.”

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