Ryder Cup: Thomas Bjorn prepares to name Team Europe wildcards
Thorbjørn Olesen secures final automatic spot for the showdown against Team USA
2018 Ryder Cup
- What: Team Europe take on Team USA in golf’s biggest event
- When: 28-30 September
- Where: Le Golf National, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France
- Website: rydercup.com
Eight spots on the Team Europe Ryder Cup squad have been confirmed following the conclusion of the final qualifying tournament.
The Made in Denmark European Tour event saw home player Thorbjørn Olesen secure the eighth final automatic spot on Europe’s Ryder Cup team to face the Americans.
Olesen is one of four players to qualify via the World Points List with Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Alex Noren. Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood have qualified from the European Points List.
Of the eight qualifiers, five are Ryder Cup rookies. They have a combined six Major titles and all eight players have won one or more Rolex Series event on the European Tour.
Olesen, who finished in a tie for 20th in Denmark, said: “Relief is my first emotion, that’s for sure. It’s been a tough week, a long week. It’s been difficult but it’s been great to learn that different kind of pressure. I think I handled it pretty well. There were a couple of things that could have been better but... I feel pretty happy now.”
He added: “To make the team automatically probably makes it that little bit more special, but it’s nice to place yourself in the team, and being inside that top eight will probably make me feel a little bit more comfortable when I get to The Ryder Cup... I’m very proud of myself, the way I’ve done things this summer.”
Eight players have qualified for Team USA. Captain Jim Furyk will announce three of his picks after the Dell Technologies Championship. The final pick will be made after the BMW Championship on 9 September.
Team Europe: who has qualified for the Ryder Cup?
- Francesco Molinari
- Justin Rose
- Tyrrell Hatton
- Tommy Fleetwood
- Thorbjørn Olesen
- Jon Rahm
- Rory McIlroy
- Alex Noren
Team Europe wildcards: the options
Thomas Bjorn, captain of Team Europe, will name four wildcards on Wednesday for his 12-man squad.
England’s Matt Wallace won a play-off at the Made in Denmark to secure his third European Tour title of the season. Winning in front of the watching Bjorn, Wallace has played himself into contention for a wildcard.
Wallace said: “I think I have given Thomas something to think about. That was the plan. I put myself under pressure the last couple of days by saying I want to give him a headache.
“I’ve stepped up to the mark and I’ve shown him exactly what I’m about.
“If he doesn’t pick me, then that’s absolutely fine. But I’ve shown him everything... and if he doesn’t, then so be it, but if he does, he knows he’s going to get exactly that in his team.”
Eddie Pepperell and Matt Fitzpatrick missed out for the final automatic spot and will hope to be part of Bjorn’s wildcard thinking. Other options for Bjorn include the likes of former Ryder Cup players Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Paul Casey, Thomas Pieters and Ian Poulter.