Ryder Cup 2018
Aug 21st, 2018
Stenson and Garcia now reliant on Captain's picks
For final Ryder Cup spots
Henrick Stenson and Sergio Garcia may both be major champions, but both are going to have to rely on wildcard picks from Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn if they are going to make it to Le Golf National this September.
Stenson could only tie for 20th at the Wyndham, although he did go low on the Sunday to post a 64. But it really was too little too late.
He's currently 16th in both the European Points and World Points lists with only two weeks remaining in the qualification window, and won’t be playing in the Northern Trust as he has withdrawn with an elbow injury.
Sergio Garcia fared no better, finishing one shot behind Stenson at T24. He had made a decent start with rounds of 66, 65 and then added a 67 on moving day. But a final day score of 70 saw him fall down the leaderboard.
His final day performance also saw him miss out on the PGA Tour’s FedExCup play-offs, for the first time ever, and with that further opportunities to make up vital Ryder Cup points through the World Rankings route.
Stenson, who won the Wyndham in 2017, commented after his round:
“It’s not really been the week we wanted, but I had a good spell on Friday, hit some really good iron shots,” he told Reuters. “I’ve been struggling on the greens for a few weeks so it was nice to roll a few in.
“At least a little part of what we left out there the first three days, we got that back in the final round.”
“Obviously we’re a little bit out of direct qualification. He [Bjorn] has got my number and I guess I’ll just have to wait next to the telephone.”
Whilst all the focus over the weekend has been on Thorbjorn Oleson’s prospects of automatic qualification, as he overtook Ian Poulter for the final automatic place through the World Rankings route, let’s not forget Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Cabrera Bello made his Ryder Cup debut in 2016 and was unbeaten on the way to winning 2½ points. He came T11 at the Wyndham, and shot an impressive final day round of 64. He’s now ranked 29th in the world, so he is ahead of Poulter and Thorbjorn Olesen, and the fact that he has been blooded in the ways of Ryder Cup might just ensure his berth ahead of Garcia.