Garcia selected in Europe Ryder Cup team

Despite questions over his form, Europe captain Thomas Bjorn selected Sergio Garcia as one of his picks for the Ryder Cup.

Sergio Garcia celebrates winning The Masters   -  Getty Images

Sergio Garcia has been selected as one of Thomas Bjorn's four captain's picks for the Ryder Cup, with Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson joining him in the team.

Garcia, winner of the Masters in 2017, has been dreadfully out of form in recent times. He has missed the cut in his last five major appearances and dropped to 30th in the world rankings.

However, in a team featuring five rookies, Garcia's vast Ryder Cup experience has clear value. He has featured eight times for Europe and is one of the most successful players in the team's history, having collected 22.5 points.

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He also has knowledge of Le Golf National, where Europe will look to reclaim the trophy, finishing in the top 10 at the France Open this year.

"You've got to look at Sergio in certain ways. He's the heartbeat of the team - it's like a football team going without their captain," Bjorn said.

"When people have seen Sergio around the Ryder Cup team room, they realise how important he is. Not only is he a great golfer, but he makes everybody else better. He is everything that the European Ryder Cup team is all about."

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Poulter has five Ryder Cup appearances to his name, winning on four occasions and securing his place in the competition's folklore with his consistent performances.

He scored the winning points in 2004 and was the highest points scorer for either team when Europe surrendered the cup four years later.

A captain's pick in 2012, Poulter was pivotal in Europe's memorable comeback at Medinah, winning all four of his matches.

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An impressive 2018 means his selection is most certainly vindicated, Poulter has six top-10 finishes this year, including victory at the Houston Open.

"When he won in Houston, I thought he was on track to become a part of this team. When Ian gets confident, when he gets believing... He is all about doing it on the big stage, a man for the occasion. He is a special person that week," said Bjorn.

Casey, meanwhile, is back in the Ryder Cup for the first time in 10 years, his return reward for a season in which he has recorded six top-10s.

Sweden's Stenson has featured for Europe four times and was part of the team that lost to the USA two years ago and, though he has been unable to follow up his 2016 Open Championship triumph with a second major, his numerous impressive performances this year include a tied-fifth at The Masters and tied-sixth at the U.S. Open, suggesting he is ready to deliver on the biggest match play stage in golf.