Report by Anand Datla
September 02, 2014: Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has made his choices. He picked Stephen Gallacher, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood as his three wild card selections for The 2014 European Ryder Cup team. Thomas Björn, Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson made the team on merit. The formidable European team will look to tame a determined American unit on The PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles from September 26-28.
Europe won the previous edition after intense drama and palpable tension in Medinah two years ago. Gallacher will have the luxury of being in his own country as he makes his debut at the prestigious event. Westwood will be appearing in his ninth Ryder Cup, just two short of Nick Faldo and one less than Bernhard Langer and Christy OÇonnor.
“I’m obviously delighted. The Ryder Cup has always been a massive thing for me and I was delighted to get the call from Paul,” said Westwood, who boasts of a lengthy association with the event. It was a long day yesterday but when Paul rang with the good news I was relieved. I’ve played a lot better in the last month and a half and I’ve been showing some form and giving Paul a reason to pick me,” assured the Englishman.
While Westwood has 21 points from 37 matches, Poulter’s scoring prowess for Europe is far more phenomenal. The 38 year old has given Europe 12 points in his 15 matches since his debut in 2004. Westwood started his Ryder Cup journey in 1997. “I’m absolutely thrilled. To get the call was amazing. I can’t wait for Gleneagles. It’s a fantastic feeling and I’m proud to be a pick,” said Poulter.
Gallacher pushed his case with a compelling performance at the Italian Open last week, where he played some impressive golf to finish third. The 39 year old used the tournament in Turin to impress upon his captain and despite a valiant battle, finished marginally short of gaining an automatic selection. “It’s massive for me and my family. It’s been a goal all my career to play in The Ryder Cup and I was delighted to get the call from Paul. It was a long day yesterday,” said Gallacher.
“I am delighted to name Stephen, Ian and Lee as my wild card selections which completes the 2014 European Ryder Cup team, a team which everyone in Europe should be proud of,” said McGinley, captain of the European team.