Jun 8th, 2018

Team Europe if the Ryder Cup was today

It's wowzers time...

The World Cup might be upon us but we can't help being preoccupied with The 2018 Ryder Cup later this year. A quick glance at the what the two teams might potentially be will tell you one thing: It could be the tightest and best Ryder Cup of all time. Here we take a look at what the European Team would look like if the matches began today.

Ryder Cup Classics: Paul Casey's K-Club ace

https://www.instagram.com/p/BjnBoOeAxAK/?hl=en&taken-by=rydercupteameurope

Unlike 2016 when the European team was littered with rookies, leading to the USA romping home, this time is going to be different. The USA team has undoubtedly become even stronger with the likes of Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler occupying the pinnacle of the world rankings, but in the last two years, Europe has seen the emergence of some serious world stars.

Enter stage right... Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Alex Noren, Tyrrell Hatton and Rafa Cabrera Bello, all serial winners who have etched their way into the hearts and minds of golf fans across the globe. Then factor in the heart-warming returns to form of Ryder Cup stalwarts Ian Poulter and Paul Casey who were both sorely missed at Hazeltine in 2016.

Ryder Cup Classics: Martin Kaymer at Gleneagles

https://www.instagram.com/p/BjhA_3KAsAX/?hl=en&taken-by=rydercupteameurope

Looking at the European Points List and the World Points list, these are the eight players who would be teeing it up at Le Golf National on Friday, 28th September:

Europe:

1. Justin Rose

2. Rory McIlroy

3. Jon Rahm

4. Tommy Fleetwood

5. Francesco Molinari

6. Alex Noren

7. Rafa Cabrera Bello

8. Tyrrell Hatton

Thomas Bjorn then has four Captain's Picks and this is where it gets really interesting. In the past, some of the picks have seemed a bit arbitrary, a bit of a reach, with Captains trying to 'do the right thing' by certain players who've shown enough form to get to the very fringes of automatic selection, but who everyone knows will be a bit of a risk, especially if the 'automatics' don't appear to be world beaters on paper.

Ryder Cup Classics: Seve. Nuff said...

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There are exceptions, of course. Thomas Pieters received one of Darren Clarke's wild cards and ended up the highest point scorer (4 points out of a possible 5) on either team, but most Ryder Cup captains will tell you they would prefer to be able to handpick from a wider pool. Which is exactly what the European Tour facilitated in 2017 when they decided to give Thomas Bjorn an extra wild card selection, increasing the quota from three to four.

There is also bigger points weighting for the events running up to the event itself in order to make sure the real form players stand a better chance of joining the party.

But what if, just for the sheer hell of it, the matches were to be played today, 8th June, 2018?

Ryder Cup Classics: How many countries have represented Europe since 1979?

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Currently, Bjorn would have the pick of the following players: Sergio Garcia (currently one place outside the automatic World Points list in 9th); Ian Poulter (10th); Matt Fitzpatrick (11th); Paul Casey (12th); Henrik Stenson (13th). 

Do we really need to go any further? Garcia – Ryder Cup legend and major winner; Stenson – Ryder Cup legend and major winner; Paul Casey – Ryder Cup legend and PGA Tour winner; Ian Poulter... well, let's just say that if he could stand up he would play.

Ryder Cup Classics: 2004. Detroit. Total destruction...

https://www.instagram.com/p/BihNMGblWDu/?hl=en&taken-by=rydercupteameurope

This is not great news for the likes of Thorbjorn Oleson (one place out of automatic European Tour Points list in 5th place); Ross Fisher (7th); Paul Dunne (12th); Lucas Bjjerregaard (13th); Frenchman Alexander Levy (14th); Shane Lowry (15th).

There's still a long way to go but, for today at least, this is the team we think Thomas Bjorn will have at his disposal.

1. Justin Rose

2. Rory McIlroy

3. Jon Rahm

4. Tommy Fleetwood

5. Francesco Molinari

6. Alex Noren

7. Rafa Cabrera Bello

8. Tyrrell Hatton

9. Ian Poulter

10. Paul Casey

11. Henrik Stenson

12. Sergio Garcia

Wowzers... it's going to be one hell of a matchplay shindig! 

Can. Not. Wait...

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Team Europe if the Ryder Cup was today

TAGS:Ryder Cup, Players, Equipment, Instruction, Travel, Swingin Sirens