Ryder Cup wildcards: Team Europe captain Thomas Bjorn opts for experience
Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson are picked for Paris
2018 Ryder Cup
- What: Team Europe vs. Team USA
- When: 28-30 September
- Where: Le Golf National, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France
- Website: rydercup.com
Team Europe’s 2018 Ryder Cup squad has been confirmed after captain Thomas Bjorn revealed his four wildcards today.
Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson were named by Bjorn. They will join the eight qualifiers in the 12-man squad to take on Team USA at Le Golf National in Paris from 28-30 September.
The eight automatic qualifiers – Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Thorbjørn Olesen, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Alex Noren – include five Ryder Cup rookies so it’s no surprise that Bjorn has opted for experience with his wildcard picks.
Between them, the four wildcards have a combined 20 Ryder Cup appearances, while Garcia and Stenson are both major champions. Garcia, who will play his ninth Ryder Cup, is three points away from becoming Team Europe’s leading all-time scorer.
Bjorn said: “All four bring loads of experience, points and plenty of heart.”
Bjorn on his wildcard picks
Bjorn on Paul Casey: “He’s really shown he’s missed this part of his life. It was a no-brainer to bring him back. He brings world-class golf back to the team.”
Bjorn on Sergio Garcia: “You have to look at Sergio in certain ways, he is the heartbeat of the team. It’s like a football team going without their captain. He makes everybody around him better. He is everything that the European Ryder Cup team is about.”
Bjorn on Ian Poulter: “When he gets confident, he hits that European badge hard. He is a man for the occasion and he is a special person. Sometimes you think him and Sergio should have been footballers because they like the team aspect so much. Winning tournaments is important but the frame of mind is equally important.”
Bjorn on Henrik Stenson: “We had long conversations about his elbow injury but he’s focused from his personal achievement to being ready for the Ryder Cup. As soon as I knew that, it wasn’t a problem to pick him. He is great at looking after some of the youngsters. He’s a strong player.”
Woods headlines Team USA
Team Europe will be hoping to regain the Ryder Cup after losing at Hazeltine National two years ago. Bjorn will go up against American skipper Jim Furyk, who today named Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau as three of his captain’s picks.
With 11 players confirmed, Furyk will name his final wildcard on Monday.
2018 Ryder Cup teams
Team Europe Ryder Cup squad
- Francesco Molinari
- Justin Rose
- Tyrrell Hatton
- Tommy Fleetwood
- Thorbjørn Olesen
- Jon Rahm
- Rory McIlroy
- Alex Noren
- Paul Casey (wildcard)
- Sergio Garcia (wildcard)
- Ian Poulter (wildcard)
- Henrik Stenson (wildcard)
Team USA Ryder Cup squad
The 11 players on the US squad with one wildcard to be named.
- Brooks Koepka
- Dustin Johnson
- Justin Thomas
- Patrick Reed
- Bubba Watson
- Jordan Spieth
- Rickie Fowler
- Webb Simpson
- Tiger Woods (wildcard)
- Phil Mickelson (wildcard)
- Bryson DeChambeau (wildcard)