Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Who will Paul McGinley choose as his Ryder Cup wild cards?

McGinley will fill the final three spots on Team Europe this afternoon.

Watson, left, and McGinley have some tough choices to make.
Watson, left, and McGinley have some tough choices to make.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

TODAY IS D-DAY for Europe’s Ryder Cup hopefuls.

At 12.30pm, Paul McGinley will announce his three captain’s picks for the showdown with the USA later this month.

Nine players have already secured their place in the European team: Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Victor Dubuisson, Thomas Bjorn, Jamie Donaldson and Graeme McDowell.

But there are a host of familiar names that will need a wild card pick to play at Gleneagles.

Five stand out among McGinley’s options:

  • Lee Westwood has been an ever-present in the European team since 1997 but the former world number one could not automatically qualify for a ninth straight Ryder Cup.
  • Ian Poulter has not been the most consistent this season but after his central role in the Miracle at Medinah two years ago, “Mr Ryder Cup” (12 wins from 15 matches) has strong claims.
  • Luke Donald is another former world number one struggling for form and, of the three Englishmen in contention, is thought to be in most danger of missing out.
  • Steven Gallacher has never played at the Ryder Cup but the Scot, ranked 34th in the world, was superb at the Italian Open last weekend and nearly nudged out McDowell as the final automatic qualifier. McGinley could be tempted by a ‘hometown’ pick.
  • Italian Francesco Molinari has the experience of two Ryder Cups and has been playing okay this season — but he only has one point (two halves) from six matches.

US captain Tom Watson also names his captain’s picks today at 7pm Eastern Time (midnight Irish time).

Who will be going to Gleneagles?

Rory struggles with ‘mental fatigue’ as Kirk cashes in at Deutsche Bank

About the author:

Niall Kelly

Read next: