Aug 14th, 2018
Ian Poulter now has Automatic Spot for European Ryder Cup Team
Through US PGA Championship performance
Ian Poulter’s performance at the US PGA Championship this weekend has pushed Paul Casey out of the automatic qualifying spots.
Poulter has moved into the final spot via the World Points List after coming T31 at Bellerive, which means that Casey may yet require a wild card pick from Captain Thomas Bjorn.
Francesco Molinairi, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood are in through the European Points list, whilst Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Alex Noren and Ian Poulter have made the automatic spots through the World Points List.
That will mean that Bjorn has fpur Ryder Cup rookies on his team, as Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Alex Noren and Jon Rahm will all be playing Ryder Cup for the first time at Le Golf National in Paris.
Also knocking on the door are Rafa Cabrera Bello and Russell Knox, who missed out last time because he wasn’t registered as a European Tour member when he claimed his landmark win in China, which would have given him enough points to qualify automatically. In the end, he was not part of Darren Clarke’s plans, so he will be trying hard to right that wrong.
With his recent win at the Irish Open, he must now be properly on Bjorn’s radar, but he too would be a Ryder Cup rookie, and Bjorn must be looking to get a bit more experience into his team – something that strongly favours Casey’s candidacy, and that of Rafa Cabrera Bello who also has been bloodied in the ways of Ryder Cup. That would give him a strong Spanish pairing with Jon Rahm, whose volatile temperament will be fully tested in the heat of the battle for the Ryder Cup.
Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia are way off any chance of automatic qualification, and whilst to many a European Team without Sergio Garcia might be unthinkable, his recent form has got to be a real concern for Bjorn.
Stenson, who holed the winning putt at The K Club on his Ryder Cup debut, may give Bjorn that extra bit of experience that he probably thinks he needs, so he is not out of the running as yet by any means.
Finally, Eddie Pepperell and Thomas Thorbjorn Olesen, are still very much in contention, with Olesen showing some strong recent form with his victory at the Italian Open.
Olesen was also T2nd at the BMW International Open and T6th at the Irish Open, and is hovering on the automatic qualification line. We will be keeping an eye on him at this week’s Nordea Scandinavian Masters.