Padraig Harrington Completes Ryder Cup Team With Wildcard Picks
EUROPEAN Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington confirmed the worst-kept secret in golf when he named Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter as two of his wild cards, with the third one going to 2019 Open champion Shane Lowry.
It meant that Justin Rose missed out on a place in the team.
Harrington selected Lowry, Garcia and Poulter to complete his side heading to Whistling Straits later this month, while Rose - who finished tied-sixth at the BMW PGA Championship after a bogey-free 65 and has played in five of the last six Ryder Cups - was left out of the European line-up.
Lowry was knocked out of automatic qualification places when Bernd Wiesberger finished tied-20th at Wentworth, lifting the Austrian into the final spot on the European Points List and pushing Rory McIlroy over to the World Points List.
The Irishman went into the final round in a share of seventh and required a top-eight finish to replace Lee Westwood in the World Points List, although stuttered to a final-round 71 to leave him in tied-17th and requiring a captain's pick.
Harrington's three selections will join McIlroy, Wiesberger, Westwood, Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland in the European side looking to retain their trophy, three years on from the 17.5-10.5 victory over Team USA in Paris.
Garcia will make his tenth Ryder Cup appearance and his second in a row as a captain's pick, having won three of his four matches to become Europe's record points scorer during their 2018 victory at Le Golf National.
The 41-year-old was one of only three European players to make it through the PGA Tour's season-ending Tour Championship, having won the Sanderson Farms Championship earlier the campaign, with the Spaniard arriving at East Lake off the back of a tied-sixth finish at the BMW Championship.
Poulter also secured a pick after a solid summer on the PGA Tour, where he claimed a share of third at the Charles Schwab Challenge and added a top-10 at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational, while the Englishman also enjoyed a top-four finish at the abrdn Scottish Open.
The Ryder Cup stalwart acted as a vice-captain for Darren Clarke during the 2016 loss on American soil but has appeared in each of Europe's last four winning teams, top-scoring in the 2012 'Miracle at Medinah' and more recently defeating the-then world No 1 Dustin Johnson in the 2018 singles.
Harrington said that leaving out Justin Rose was a difficult decision. He said: "The fact of the matter is, with who he was going up against, the consistency of Shane Lowry, what Ian and Sergio have brought over the years, somebody had to lose out and it really is as close as that.
"Alex Noren as well, playing fantastic golf, but ultimately somebody has to lose out. If you don't play your way in, it's a tough place to be and it easily could have been JR (Rose), it easily could have been Alex Noren. It was so tight at the end of the day and we just went with the passion, the core, the heart of the team has been Sergio and Ian for years.
Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography
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