• Ryder Cup

E. Molinari handed Ryder Cup wildcard, Casey left out

ESPN staff
August 29, 2010

Edoardo Molinari has been rewarded for his success at the Johnnie Walker Championship by being handed one of Colin Montgomerie's three wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup.

Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald were the other two chosen by Montgomerie to compete in the October event at Celtic Manor, with Justin Rose and Paul Casey the highest-profile players to miss out.

Montgomerie also announced that Sergio Garcia will be at the Ryder Cup as Europe's fourth vice-captain.

Molinari, who joins brother Francesco on the team, played himself into contention with a sparkling final-day performance at Gleneagles on Sunday, where he stormed to the title after recovering from two strokes behind with three holes to play.

World No. 9 Casey, who finished third at the Open championship in July and has played at three Ryder Cups, is the shock exclusion from Montgomerie's European squad. Rose's omission is also notable - he was considered a natural partner to Ian Poulter, and he has claimed two PGA Tour titles this season. Harrington, by contrast, is without a win in over two years.

Asked to justify his selections, Montgomerie said: "Padraig Harrington, [he's won] three Major championships in the last three years, and he's someone that we feel no-one in matchplay golf wants to play. A great competitor, and someone that will bring everything to the team that we know about European golf.

"In Luke Donald we have someone that can compete in foursomes and four-ball golf, he's played seven times in Ryder Cup play and has only lost in one particular game. From Italy, Edoardo Molinari, what can one say about today's performance?

"I think, in my time as a player on the European Tour, I don't think I've seen a finish of that quality under such pressure from anyone - ever. Credit goes to him for having to come here, having to win, doing so and joining his brother as the first brother partnership that's ever played in the Ryder Cup.

"I'd rather comment on the strengths of the ones that have been picked, other than the obvious ones that haven't. Paul Casey will play at the Ryder Cup again and again, and I feel sorry for him and Justin Rose.

"As our chief executives have said, we have an embarrassment of riches on this occasion and we've had to leave out world stars. Justin Rose and Paul Casey are the world stars that have been left out on this occasion."

Garcia, who is currently taking a self-imposed break from golf, saw his erratic form in 2010 scupper his bid for one of Montgomerie's selections - but he will take his place in a backstage role.

European Ryder Cup team: Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Ross Fisher, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Francesco Molinari, Peter Hanson, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Padraig Harrington, Edoardo Molinari, Luke Donald.

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