Oliver Wilson, Justin Rose and Soren Hansen qualified for the last three automatic Ryder Cup places yesterday with points gained in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. All three will make their Ryder Cup debuts alongside Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson, Robert Karlsson, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Graeme McDowell who together qualify as the top 10 European players in this year’s Order of Merit table.
As European Ryder Cup Captain for 2008, Nick Faldo has to pick two wildcards to add to the team. Darren Clarke and Colin Montgomerie are the two highest profile players to miss out. Darren Clarke has been is relatively good form recently including two European Tour wins this year, most recently the KLM Open in Holland two weeks ago.
Colin Montgomerie has not been in brilliant form but with eight previous appearances, has a wealth of Ryder Cup experience to offer any European team. Darren Clarke also has previous Ryder Cup experience, including good performances with the likes of Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia.
But Faldo has offered wildcards to Paul Casey and Ian Poulter. Critics of Faldo’s choices have focussed on Darren Clarke missing out in favour of Ian Poulter.
Ian Poulter decided to skip the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles this weekend & instead played a tournament in the United States.
Colin Montgomerie, who was targetted by American fans in the previous Ryder Cup to be held in the United States with the nickname Mrs Doubtfire, got wind of Ian Poulter being offered a wildcard last week and started a war of words with Poulter suggesting that he must have a hotline to Faldo.
Poulter has failed to make the last two cuts but Ryder Cup Captain Nick Faldo felt Poulter deserved to be picked over other more seasoned Ryder Cup players such as Darren Clarke & Colin Montgomery because of his fantastic last round at the recent British Open.
Personally I feel sorry for Darren Clarke but am a big Ian Poulter fan. I love his style, confidence, somewhat cocky arrogant approach to the game of golf. His flash personality, let alone his clothes, has been one of the reasons that golf has become more flamboyant and exciting to watch.
I hope Poulter, Casey, Rose and the other young guns from the UK help to thrash the Americans in this month’s Ryder Cup – I can’t wait because as european golf tournaments go, this is the ultimate!