Runners and Ryders: Who could head to Paris as a captain's pick?

The 16 automatic spots for the Ryder Cup are confirmed. But who will Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk choose as their captain's picks?

Published : Sep 03, 2018 22:03 IST

Possible Ryder Cup captain's picks Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Tiger Woods
Possible Ryder Cup captain's picks Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Tiger Woods

Possible Ryder Cup captain's picks Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Tiger Woods

After the 16th and final automatic Ryder Cup qualification spot went to Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen on Sunday, which men are in the frame to feature at Le Golf National as captain's picks?

Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk, the respective skippers of Teams Europe and the United States, each have four wildcard options at their disposal to add to the eight men who have already booked their ticket to Paris via their performances in 2018.

Olesen finished in a tie for 20th at the Made in Denmark, the European Tour's final qualifying event - a result that proved enough thanks to Matt Fitzpatrick and Eddie Pepperell failing to prevail in Aarhus.

USA's automatic eight have been decided for a couple of weeks and now the real fun starts - who will Bjorn and Furyk invite to the party in the French capital at the end of this month?


Europe's automatic qualifiers: Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Alex Noren, Thorbjorn Olesen.

USA's automatic qualifiers: Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson.


When will the picks be made?

Bjorn will name his European quartet on Wednesday September 5.

His counterpart Furyk, meanwhile, will announce three of his four following the Dell Technologies Championship, which concludes on Monday. USA's final wildcard selection will be confirmed after the BMW Championship, which ends on September 9.


Who is in the frame?


It seems a certainty that  Tiger Woods  and  Phil Mickelson , with 19 major titles and 74 Ryder Cup matches between them, will take up two of Furyk's wildcard picks.

Another man who appears to be in with a strong chance of being chosen is  Bryson DeChambeau , leader of the FedEx Cup standings and victor at the Northern Trust last time out on the PGA Tour.

It has been a strong season for  Xander Schauffele , who finished joint-second at The Open, while  Tony Finau has top-10 finishes at three of the four majors this year. The likes of  Matt Kuchar  have not been as impressive but he boasts experience from each of the past five Ryder Cups.



No Ryder Cup conversation can be complete without the inclusion of Ian Poulter , who boasts a remarkable record of only four defeats from 18 matches. He finished as the closest man to Olesen in the world points list and his affinity with this competition - which always seems to bring the best out of him - should not be overlooked.

Sergio Garcia is another Ryder Cup veteran to consider, having taken 22.5 points from his 37 matches over a 19-year span. The Spaniard is woefully out of form, however, missing the cut in eight of his last 11 appearances.

Like Poulter, the trio of Fitzpatrick , Paul Casey and Rafa Cabrera Bello  finished just outside the top eight in the points list and are playing well enough to have forced their way into Bjorn's thinking. Henrik Stenson  has had a mixed 2018 but his undoubted talent and calm persona could prove pivotal.

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