Ryder Cup 2018
Sep 5th, 2018
revealed! Thomas Bjorn's European wild card picks
Paris here we come!
Words: Tim Southwell
Cue drum solo and celebratory trumpets... and Thomas Bjorn's Team Europe Captain's wild-card picks for the 2018 Ryder Cup are...
No kidding. He was always a shoe in. Injury meant he was involved as a vice-captain last time out. We missed him. The 42-year-old, who has lost just four of his 18 matches and is unbeaten in the singles, has been involved in five Ryder Cup wins since making his debut in 2004.
You can't have a Ryder Cup without Poults. Well, only if he's injured. Here are his Top 5 Ryder Cup moments.
As soon as PC became eligible for selection again after ruling himself out in 2016 by declining to rejoin the European Tour, he must have been right up there in Bjorn's mind. He missed out on a wildcard in 2010 despite being seventh in the world, but was part of victories in 2004 and 2006 before contributing just a half point at Valhalla a decade ago.
He may not have set the world alight in 2018 so far, but don't forget he won last year's Masters and has bagged 22-and-a-half Ryder Cup points in eight Ryder Cups. Without wanting to resort to stereotype, he will be a great partner for Jon Rahm.
Get in there, Sergio!
The Swede holed the winning putt on his debut at The K Club in 2006. He's since played three more times and has recorded top-six finishes at both the Masters and US Open in 2018, but has slipped out of the world top 10.
Henrik's Top 10 Ryder Cup shots
So, who can feel hard done by?
This kid is in form and Thomas Bjorn must be scratching his head whether to pick him or one of the old-guard, after Wallace won the final qualifying event before the Ryder Cup? That's what the Englishman did in Denmark on Sunday for his third European Tour win this season.
The world number 29's won two-and-a-half points from his three matches at Hazeltine in 2016, only bettered by Thomas Pieters' record-breaking debut. He's been consistent rather than incredible this year, his best performance being tied for 3rd at the WGC Mexico Championship, plus he had a top 10 at the US PGA Championship.
Eat my birdie, Jimmy Walker!
The Belgian made a spectacular Ryder Cup debut in 2016, scoring four points, a record for a rookie. His partnership with Rory McIlroy will be something Bjorn wants to see deliver big style again. Pieters hasn't been at his very best this season, but he's been improving week by week and he tied for sixth at the US PGA Championship in August.
Controversially overlooked in previous years, Knox put himself well and truly in the shop window after winning the Irish Open. "Welcome to the conversation," said captain Thomas Bjorn.
If you've ever read Eddie's blog you'll know he's not your average golf banana. It's a rare and genius insight into what really goes on inside a player's mind while on tour. And he can play. A first European Tour win at the Qatar Masters in February proved the beginning of a strong run of form for Eddie, who is hoping to compete in his first Ryder Cup after enjoying a top-six finish at The Open.
Fitz had a miserable debut at Hazeltine, failing to register a singly point. He wasn't alone in that stat though. Neither did Lee Westwood, Chris Wood and a few of the other debutants. His best finish on the European Tour this season was tied for third in Abu Dhabi in January.
Plenty more of this coming our way!