Ryder Cup 2014: Choosing between Lee Westwood and Luke Donald was like flipping a coin
A decent August appears to have swung Paul McGinley's thinking over his final wild card pick
Paul McGinley made three men very happy on Tuesday, his thinking broadly in line with golfing trade opinion, which gave Lee Westwood the nod over Luke Donald.
There was never any doubt that Stephen Gallacher would get a pick, nor Ian Poulter. Gallacher’s display in Italy last week under pressure to qualify, demonstrated the mettle required for Ryder Cup combat. His Scottish passport is just added value
Poulter’s closing 66 at the Deutsche Bank championship in Boston yesterday showed he is in decent nick now that he is free from injury. He had nothing to prove in terms of his viability as a team member.
So it came down to a good month from Westwood in August after the horror of four successive missed cuts in June and July. Donald’s closing 67 in Boston came just too late.
McGinley was effectively tossing a coin in choosing between his two heavyweights and was ultimately persuaded by Westwood’s strong showing at the Bridgestone Invitational, where he closed with a 63, and a week later at the PGA Championship, where he led on day one with a 66 before finishing a creditable 15.
American skipper Tom Watson announces his three wild cards at midnight. Expect Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson to feature strongly in the deliberations. The first ball is struck in 24 days. Westwood will play at the Welsh Open the week before to ensure he is battle ready.
With the likes of Rory McIlory, Martin Kaymer, in possession of three of this year’s four majors, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose all in potent form, McGinley could have picked himself and not overly weakened the European proposition.
As he said, he is a lucky skipper, leading arguably Europe’s strongest team to Gleneagles at the end of the month. As Donald said in closing his Dear John call from his captain last night, “Go Europe”.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea transfer news: Blues linked with £43m deal for Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1 player ratings: Carlos Tevez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata on target - but who scored highest?
David Beckham reveals secret of his success: I 'stayed in to watch Match of the Day' rather than go out with friends on a Saturday night
Cristiano Ronaldo sticks up for Japanese boy after he struggles to speak Portuguese
Patrice Evra points to 'Manchester United blood' after Carlos Tevez inspires Juventus win over Real Madrid
- 4 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 5 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils