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
- 1 All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
- 5 Clothes store Joy angers mental health campaigners with Twitter exchange on bipolar disorders
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God