• Ryder Cup

Donald misses out on captain's pick

ESPN staff
September 2, 2014
Luke Donald's has been left out Europe's Ryder Cup team despite an impressive record in the competition © Getty Images

Luke Donald has missed out on Europe's Ryder Cup team as captain Paul McGinley named Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Stephen Gallacher as his three captain's picks.

Ryder Cup stalwart Donald is left out of the line-up to face the United States at Gleneagles later this month, despite taking ten-and-a-half points from a possible 15 since his 2004 debut in the competition, a record which boasts three wins from four singles matches.

Poulter, Westwood and Gallacher join Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Victor Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Thomas Bjorn and Graeme McDowell in the team aiming to defend the title they secured in dramatic fashion at the Medinah Country Club in 2012.

In a news conference to announce his wildcards, McGinley revealed that, despite the disappointment at missing out on selection, Donald's final words to him before the team announcement were "go Europe."

"That was a very difficult conversation for a number of reasons," McGinley said. "My relationship with Luke is very close. When he played his first ever Ryder Cup match I was his partner in 2004. Every Ryder Cup he's been involved in I've been involved in - the only one that both of us missed recently was 2008.

"Luke's been an incredible performer in recent years. His record in the Ryder Cup is absolutely outstanding and he will no doubt go on to make many more appearances in the tournament.

"It was a very difficult call for me to make, but one I had to do in the interests of the European team."

Poulter has transformed himself into an accomplished Ryder Cup golfer since former captain Nick Faldo was pilloried for picking him in 2008.

The Englishman has gone on to win seven of his eight matches, including the point late on Saturday night that kick-started Europe's stunning comeback at Medinah, where he was the only player to finish with a perfect record.

Poulter's selection will be his third wildcard in five Ryder Cup appearances.

"The Ryder Cup means a lot to me," Poulter said. "I'm absolutely thrilled. I guarantee I will be ready. I can't wait to be at Gleneagles."

Gallacher came agonisingly close to securing an automatic qualification spot for McGinley's team at last weekend's Italian Open, missing out on the top-two finish he needed by just one shot.

But the Scottish golfer, who was born just half a mile from Gleneagles, has enjoyed an impressive year, retaining his Dubai Desert Classic title early in the season before going on to claim a further seven top-10s in 18 starts.

A veteran of eight matches dating back to 1997, Westwood brings a wealth of experience and a strong record to the European team.

Despite his struggles this season, the Englishman has shown glimpses of his former self in recent weeks, including a final-round 63 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational that saw him claim a top-20 spot.

"The Ryder Cup has been a massive part of my career," Westwood said. "I'm delighted to be representing Europe again."

United States captain Tom Watson will name his three wildcards at 12.30am on Wednesday.

Team Europe

Player Age Ryder Cup record Appearances
Thomas Bjorn 43
3-2-1 3
Jamie Donaldson 38 0-0-0 First appearance
Victor Dubuisson 24 0-0-0 First appearance
Stephen Gallacher 39 0-0-0 First appearance
Sergio Garcia 34 16-8-4 7
Martin Kaymer 29 3-2-1 3
Graeme McDowell 35 5-5-2 4
Rory McIlroy 25 4-3-2 3
Ian Poulter 38 12-3-0 5
Justin Rose 34 6-3-0 3
Henrik Stenson 38 2-3-2 3
Lee Westwood 41 18-13-6 9

Team USA

Player Age Ryder Cup record Appearances
Keegan Bradley 28 3-1-0 2
Rickie Fowler 25 0-1-2 2
Jim Furyk 44 9-17-4 9
Zach Johnson 38 6-4-1 4
Matt Kuchar 36 3-2-2 3
Hunter Mahan 32 3-2-3; 4
Phil Mickelson 44 14-18-6 10
Patrick Reed 24 0-0-0 First appearance
Webb Simpson 29 2-2-0 2
Jordan Spieth 21 0-0-0 First appearance
Jimmy Walker 35 0-0-0 First appearance
Bubba Watson 35 3-5-0 3

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