From 23rd to 28th September, the PGA Centenary Course in Gleneagles will host one of the biggest sporting events in the world: the Ryder Cup takes place in Scotland this year, for only the second time in the long history of the event.
On Tuesday, the two captains, Paul McGinley (Europe) and Tom Watson (USA), announced which players would join their teams as wildcard picks. As such, we now know the 24 golfers that will face each other in this unique team competition, of which BMW is Official Partner.
BMW holds the global rights (except North America and Canada) as Official Partner for the 2014 and 2018 Ryder Cups. When the USA hosts the 2016 Ryder Cup, BMW will once again be involved – this time as partner of the European team.
McGinley has opted for Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood (both England) and Stephen Gallacher (Scotland) as his “Captain’s Picks”. Match play specialist Poulter’s previous Ryder Cup appearances have made him indispensable, and he has become something of a talisman for the defending champions.
Scotland’s Gallacher is all set for the role of local hero, having caught the eye with a run of excellent form in recent weeks. As such, it came down to a choice between Westwood and Luke Donald for the final wildcard. Having shown good form of late, Westwood was given the nod over his compatriot Donald.
World number one Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell (both Northern Ireland), Henrik Stenson (Sweden), Thomas Björn (Denmark), Sergio García (Spain), Martin Kaymer (Germany), Justin Rose (England), Jamie Donaldson (Wales) and Victor Dubuisson (France) had already qualified for the European team.
US captain Tom Watson called Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson into his team. Despite the Americans’ home defeat at the “Miracle of Medinah”, Bradley impressed as a rookie in 2012, when he formed a strong and successful duo with Phil Mickelson.
Watson pointed to Mahan’s match play strengths and to top form shown recently by the winner of “The Barclays” two weeks ago as the main reasons for his selection. Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champion, was preferred to the likes of FedExCup leader Chris Kirk.
The US squad, who have lost seven of the last nine Ryder Cups, also includes Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson, defending champion at this week’s BMW Championship in Denver (USA), who all qualified via the ranking list.