Darren Clarke names Westwood, Kaymer and Pieters as Ryder Cup wildcards for Europe
Darren Clarke has named his three wildcard picks for the 2016 Ryder Cup, which gets under way in less than a month at Hazeltine National Golf Club on September 30, and while two names came as no shock with Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer getting the nod to join up with the European team, it was rookie Thomas Pieters who bagged the final spot to complete what is a team made up of six rookies and some of golf's finest talents.
- Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer & Thomas Pieters are named Europe's wildcards
- Europe have won last three Ryder Cup events
Pieters Edges Out Donald, Knox & G-Mac
A spectactular late surge to win the Made In Denmark event last week sealed the aforementioned Pieters' place in the Europe's Ryder Cup team, as the 24-year-old Belgian ousted Bradley Dredge and that fine display was enough to persuade Clarke that he must have the emerging youngster in his final-12 that head over to America to try and retain the Ryder Cup.
Clarke had opted to play with Pieters in the first two rounds of that Denmark event, and was assured by his stunning play that he will have the temperament for Ryder Cup golf, for which Europe are 2/1 outsiders with Unibet to retain the crown they won with aplomb two years ago at Gleneagles.
The former Major winner who will have his first taste of captaining the Ryder Cup team was quick to point out in his post-selection press conference that Pieters wasn't an instant inclusion, and found it tough to not select Russell Knox, who has put up a bold bid for European spot this term, while the lack of form left Ryder Cup stalwarts Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell unable to make their way into the team.
Westwood And Kaymer Solid Wildcard Options
It maybe a team jam-packed with emerging talent, as a sextet of rookies taste Ryder Cup golf for the first time, against a USA squad oozing quality, but Clarke will be able to call on two proven Ryder Cup winners as both Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer will don the European kit once again.
Westwood has been a regular in the team since his debut in 1997 and he will make his eighth appearance and will have aspirations on improving on a record that has seen him bag 21 points from the 37 matches he has played, while Kaymer will long be remembered for his winning putt against Steve Stricker in the Miracle of Medinah in 2012, and will make his third appearance for Team Europe.
This sparkling pair will bring some calm to the European squad, which also will be able to use the talents of Rory McIlroy, Danny Willett, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose, who are sure to be the focal five for Clarke's side in an event that could be one of Team Europe's toughest events for several years, as USA are as short as 8/15 with bet365 to regain the trophy.
2016 European Ryder Cup Team
Captain: Darren Clarke
- Rafa Cabrera-Bello
- Matthew Fitzpatrick
- Sergio Garcia
- Martin Kaymer - Captain's Pick
- Rory McIlroy
- Thomas Pieters - Captain's Pick
- Justin Rose
- Henrik Stenson
- Andy Sullivan
- Lee Westwood - Captain's Pick
- Danny Willett
- Chris Wood
2016 Ryder Cup Odds
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