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'He's made my experiences at Ryder Cups better' - McIlroy on Garcia inclusion

Rory McIlroy believes Sergio Garcia will prove a valuable addition for Europe in Paris.

Image: Lynne Cameron

RORY MCILROY HAS defended Thomas Bjorn’s decision to include Sergio Garcia in the European Ryder Cup team.

Garcia, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and Henrik Stenson were handed the four wildcard picks from captain Bjorn yesterday. 

The Spaniard’s form has been patchy this year but McIlroy believes his experience makes him a very valuable asset for Europe in Paris.

“I feel with the five rookies we have, experience will be a big thing, especially at home,” McIlroy stated ahead of the BMW Championship at Aronimink in Philadelphia. 

“It’s the things people don’t see that he does in the team room,” McIlroy continued.

“He’s made my experiences at Ryder Cups better. He’s been a great partner for me. Obviously, his record speaks for itself but the stuff people don’t see is basically what got him this wildcard pick.

“I think it creates a really good team dynamic,” McIlroy said of a quartet with an average age of 41. “It’s a continuity that’s within the team. If you have experience, guys that have been there before, they know what goes on.

“You’ve got all this stuff to do, like gala dinners and opening ceremonies and this and that and it’s like, ‘Really?’

“All of that stuff you don’t expect when it’s your first one but at least whenever you have experienced guys. everyone knows what to expect, and they know that the first few days are long and you need to pace yourself, and you can’t wear yourself out, you can’t play too much or practise too much.”

The world number eight said he’ll be interested to see how Tiger Woods handles the hostile crowd reaction he’s likely to get in France.

“Especially with us being at home, he’s playing against the crowd where it’s usually the other way around,” said McIlroy.

“I think it’s not very often that the crowd is against him and this will be a very rare occasion in France.

“There probably will still be some people cheering for him but, for the most part, they’ll be cheering for the European team.”

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