Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter headline European Ryder Cup captain’s picks
Team Europe has finalized its Ryder Cup squad. Padraig Harrington announced in a press conference Sunday afternoon that Shane Lowry, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter will round out his team of 12 that will travel to Whistling Straits later this month.
“I have a great team,” Harrington said. “I have a great team of ball-strikers — probably the best team of ball-strikers Europe have ever sent out in a Ryder Cup … They’re good enough to deliver”
U.S. captain Steve Stricker finalized his team last week.
Garcia and Poulter were thought to be the most secure captain’s picks for Harrington as the two have anchored the European side for the last two decades. Garcia is the all-time European points leader with 25.5, while Poulter has served as the emotional spark for Team Europe, going undefeated in singles play in six Ryder Cup appearances.
Lowry, who just missed out on automatic qualification, bolstered his resume with a win at the 2019 Open Championship, and has been a steady player on the PGA Tour since. The Ryder Cup rookie had four top 10s and 10 top 25s in 21 starts last season as he missed just two cuts.
“Nobody thinks of him as a rookie,” Harrington said. “Shane is a big-time player … He delivers consistently under pressure in those sort of situations. It was an easy pick based on his form.”
Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood already earned their places on the team via the World Points List, while Jon Rahmm, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Bernd Wiesberger secured spots from the European Points List.
Things were tight right down to the last round of the BMW PGA Championship as players jockeyed for position to secure their places on the Euro team. Wiesberger’s T20 finish was enough to earn him the last automatic qualification spot, enough to earn his first Ryder Cup berth.
“I just had to take deep breaths for every shot and I guess that’s what it means to be able to play for a Ryder Cup team,” Wiesberger said. “I mean, I don’t think I have to mention, it’s been a lifelong goal for me to be part of a European team and I’m very proud to have just done enough to get into that team and go to Whistling Straits in a couple weeks.”
Notably left off the team is Englishman Justin Rose. The 41-year-old has suited up for the Europeans in the last five Ryder Cups and has earned 14 points for his side since his first appearance in 2008. However, the former U.S. Open winner has slipped to 42nd in the world and is winless since 2018.
The Ryder Cup is scheduled for Sept. 24-26 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis.