Experienced Europe all set for Medinah
By Tom Acey
Jose Maria Olazabal’s European team will be hoping to retain their crown when the 39th Ryder Cup gets underway at the Medinah Country Club next Thursday.
The Spaniard selected Ian Poulter and debutant Nicolas Colsaerts as his two wildcard picks, the latter being chosen ahead of three-time major winner Padraig Harrington after impressing on the European Tour this season.
Poulter, like Colsaerts, only just missed out on automatic selection, but his distinguished Ryder Cup record made him an obvious candidate for Olazabal’s team.
Besides from Colsaerts, the European team boasts plenty of experience, with five of the twelve (including Poulter) having made two or more appearances in the Ryder Cup. Westwood, Donald, Garcia and Poulter can all draw on previous successes on American soil.
USA’s Davis Love III, meanwhile, will captain a side which includes four Ryder Cup debutants. Their lack of experience may concern some, but Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson are both major winners, whilst Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker have been perennial challengers in recent tournaments.
Tiger Woods’ Ryder Cup record may be fairly ordinary, but the 14-time major winner will relish his return to Medinah Country Club. Woods has won two PGA Championships on this course; he will hope to complete a perfect trio by regaining the Ryder Cup there this week.