European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington announced on Sunday, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Shane Lowry as his three wildcard selections.
Garcia and Poulter weren’t surprises as Harrington said earlier this summer, “Sergio almost has to lose a limb to avoid being selected and Poulter is not far behind.”
The ultimate decision seemed to come down to Lowry or Justin Rose. When Bernd Wiesberger and Lee Westwood locked up the final spots – along with Matthew Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton – on Sunday at the BMW PGA Championship, it was Lowry and Rose who were left to the captain’s discretion.
Harrington sided with his fellow Irishman, who will make his Ryder Cup debut, instead of five-time team member Rose, who boasts a 13-8-2 career record in the biennial competition.
It continues a disappointing run of near-misses for Rose, who needed to win at Wentworth to secure an automatic spot and tied for fifth. Last month, Rose three-putted his final hole at the Wyndham Championship to miss the FedExCup playoffs by just over one point in the standings.
While Rose’s Ryder Cup accomplishments didn’t get him on this year’s team, that was the overlying reason for Garcia’s and Poulter’s inclusions. Garcia didn’t compete in the BMW PGA and has one top-10 finish on the PGA Tour since March. Poulter, meanwhile, missed the cut in England and failed to advance past the first round of the FEC playoffs. His most recent Tour win was in 2018.
But when it comes to the Ryder Cup, Garcia and Poulter bring formidable resumes. Garcia is Europe’s all-time points earner, with 25.5 points in nine appearances. Poulter is a career 14-6-2 in six starts.
Those three join the nine players who qualified via the European points list (based on Race to Dubai points earned in European Tour co-sanctioned events) and the World points list (based on the Official World Golf Ranking).
European Points List
- Jon Rahm
- Tommy Fleetwood
- Bernd Wiesberger
- Tyrrell Hatton
World Points List
- Rory McIlroy
- Matthew Fitzpatrick
- Paul Casey
- Viktor Hovland
- Lee Westwood
The U.S. team was finalized after last week’s Tour Championship. Following a year’s delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ryder Cup will be contested Sept. 24-26 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.