Ryder Cup 2018: Team Europe announce wildcard picks
Team captain Thomas Bjorn has named his four wildcard players, and the spots go to: Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, and Henrik Stenson.
Casey hasn't played in a Ryder Cup for a decade, but he re-joined the European tour this year, a requirement for selection, in the hope of returning to the fold.
The Englishman is up to 16 in the world rankings, with team captain Thomas Bjorn calling him 'world class' and saying it was a 'no brainer' to name him.
Sergio hasn't had a good year at all, and has struggled since ending his major drought at the Masters in 2017.
"He's the heart of the team, leaving him out would be like a football team going to a World Cup without their captain," is how Bjorn described the Spaniard. With five rookies in the team, Garcia is an important pick in terms of experience. He was the only teenager ever to play in the the competition back in 1999, and with 22.5 Ryder Cup points, he's just 2.5 behind Nick Faldo's all time record, so Sergio brings tonnes of experience to the team.
Poulter will have been an obvious choice for Stenson, given some of the best performances of his career have come at the Ryder Cup, most famously his 4/4 points that inspired the Miracle of Medinah back in 2012. The Englishman is one player that the Americans genuinely fear, from 18 matches in the competition he's been beaten just four times, and never in the singles.
Stenson is another experienced head with a huge amount of Ryder Cup experience. Injuries have been a worry for Stenson, but he's struck up a formidable partnership with Justin Rose that he'll be keen to rekindle this time around.
Bjorn praised him for "the stature that he brings, the calmness that he brings, and the person that he is, he's great for looking after some of the youngsters."
So the Team Europe line up as follows; Thorbjorn Olesen, Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm, Alex Noren, Paul Casey. Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson
Belfast Telegraph Digital