Team Europe’s captain, José María Olazábal has named his picks to go alongside the ten golfers who have automatically qualified. Nicolas Colsaerts and Ian Poulter have been named as his two wild cards picks which make up the 12-man European Team with Team USA captain Davis Love III to make his choices next week.
European Ryder Cup team captain José María Olazábal has finalised his team adding Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts as his picks.
The 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club in late September may not be at the forefront of our attention here in Australia, but make no mistake it is one of the most unique and passionate golf events in the world, and a very big deal to golf fans in Europe and USA.
Quite simply, there is no other golf tournament quite like it. The fervour surrounding the event that pits Team Europe against Team USA is electric and I’ve often been glued to the TV in a way that is very different to the majors.
“Out of the 12 players, 11 have played Ryder Cup. They have proven they can handle that pressure. They have the experience so we do have a very solid team”, Olazábal said.
Rory McIlroy (NIR), Justin Rose (ENG), Paul Lawrie (SCO), Graeme McDowell (NIR), Francesco Molinari (ITA), Luke Donald (ENG), Lee Westwood (ENG), Sergio Garcia (ESP), Peter Hanson (SWE), Martin Kaymer (GER), Ian Poulter (ENG), Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL).
Olazábal’s choices were somewhat controversial as Padraig Harrington was gunning for a captain’s pick having not gained an automatic berth in the team. Olazábal and Harrington aren’t exactly best mates after they clashed during the Seve Trophy in 2003 over a repairing pitch marks, but the form of Colsaerts and Poulter make his choices hard to fault.
A couple of years ago, an American mate described my fascination with the Ryder Cup as like a kid looking through the window of a candy shop. In some ways he was right, although it would be a lolly shop, no candy in these parts.
It’s a unique event and as much as US PGA Tour managed Presidents Cup tries, it has not yet been able to replicate the passion of the Ryder Cup. After the “War by the Shore” in 1991, the now infamous Justin Leonard celebrations from 1999 or the the patriotic frenzy embraced by Paul Azinger in 2008, some might say that’s a good thing.
But you can’t deny it makes for great viewing. Some of the best golf watching of my life was during the rain interrupted 2010 Ryder Cup At Celtic Manor in Wales. The course was perfect for Ryder Cup golf and some of the golf itself was extraordinary. Once again, this coming Ryder Cup will be in the middle of the night in Australia and smack bang in the middle of the business end of football season, but watch it if you can. You won’t regret it for a second.
For the record, since the Ryder Cup was changed to the Europeans taking on the USA in 1979 (rather than GB and Ireland), Team Europe have won 9 of the 17 events, with one tie in 1989. The home team has won on 11 occasions.