Ireland’s Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell have not been included in captain Darren Clarke’s wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup.
The Dungannon man has named England’s Lee Westwood, Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Belgian Thomas Pieters as his three captain’s selections for the event. This news means that Rory McIlroy will be the only Irish man in action in action at the tournament as Europe seek to win a fourth successive tournament.
The selection means that Scotland’s Russell Knox will have no place on the team. The world number 20 finished 10th in qualifying ahead by 0.04 from Belgian Pieters. Announcing the decision Clarke said Graeme and Luke [Donald] were close and leaving them out was hard, but they’re just not on top of their game at the moment so it came down to a decision between Thomas and Russell Knox.”
This means in total that five rookies have filled nine of the positions. However, it appears that Clarke wanted a balanced team with youth and experience and this has proven to be the case. Westwood and Kaymer were long standing favourites to be selected, with Westwood securing his 10th consecutive appearance at the event.
After confirming his picks at a press conference at Wentworth, Clarke reserved much of his praise for Pieters, saying: “Last week I played with him as I have many times over the qualification period. In addition to this Clarke told Sky Sports News HQ on his decision of including Westwood and Kaymer and said “In Lee Westwood I’ve got one of the most experienced ‘Ryder Cuppers’ of all time’’. “This will be his 10th appearance. He’s played well this year, he was runner-up at Augusta and week in, week out he has been very solid.
Speaking about the inclusion of Kaymer, Clarke said “Martin Kaymer has had six top-10s in his recent events and is somewhat of a Ryder Cup stalwart. No one can forget the putt he holed at Medinah a few years ago.
The Ryder Cup is set to begin on the 27th of September to the 2nd of October at the Hazeltine golf course in Minnesota.