Ryder Cup 2014: Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallagher named as wild card picks

Poulter, Westwood, Gallacher join automatic qualifiers Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Victor Dubuisson, Thomas Bjorn and Jamie Donaldson

European captain Paul McGinley on Tuesday completed his Ryder Cup team for Gleneagles by naming Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher as his three wild cards.

That meant there was no place for former world number one Luke Donald as Europe look to claim an eighth win in the last 10 stagings of the biennial contest against the United States on September 26-28.

Westwood has made eight consecutive appearances since making his debut in 1997, winning 21 points from 37 matches.

The 41-year-old finished seventh in the Masters in April and won in Malaysia the following week, but suffered a slump in form until a final round of 63 in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August.

He also shared the lead after the first round of the US PGA Championship before finishing 15th, but failed to advance beyond the first FedEx Cup play-off event.

Gallacher came agonisingly close to securing an automatic place on the team by finishing third in the Italian Open on Sunday, just one shot out of the share of second place he required.

However, McGinley stayed on in Turin after missing the cut and witnessed the Scot card a flawless closing 65 to record his 10th top-10 finish of a qualifying campaign which also saw him retain his Dubai Desert Classic title in February.

Poulter has earned the nickname 'Mr Ryder Cup' and it is hard not to see why. This is the third time he has needed a wild card to make the team, but he has raised his game on every occasion and none more so than at Medinah in 2012.

The 38-year-old won all four of his matches and famously birdied the last five holes alongside Rory McIlroy to beat Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson in the Saturday fourballs. He also beat Webb Simpson in the singles to take his record to an amazing 12 wins from 15 matches.

"I'm in a privileged position in that I had a variety of choices and it says a lot about the European Tour and the standards we have now in Europe, the quality of the picks I have and how far we've come over the years for me to have such an abundance of talent to choose from," McGinley said.

"There are some real quality players who have performed incredibly well who are not going to make the team. It was a very difficult call to those guys involved but on the positive side I think we have three players that will add a lot to the nine already qualified who make the European team as strong as it needs to be to take on the might of America."

McGinley likened Gallacher's efforts in Turin to the way he put himself in position to make the Ryder Cup team back in 2004.

"I think his performance last week in Italy, under the spotlight, was huge," McGinley said. "He'll look back at that at the end of his career, whatever he goes on to achieve, as one of the highlights of his career, if not the highlight.

"I know from experience, I look back on my career as I come to the close of it now, at my performance in 2004 on the very last event to get my head in front and into the team. I look back on that as one of my proudest moments as a professional golfer, and Stevey will feel like that this morning. What he did, how he did it, all credit to him."

Ian Poulter shows off his tricks...

 

Asked how he felt now looking at his full line-up for the event, McGinley said: "Excitement is the word. Excitement is what I want the players to feel and there's certainly that. Stevey Gallacher, as you can imagine, I said, 'Stevey, you can go and have a drink and celebrate,' and he said 'Is that okay? Can I have a drink?' so he is taking this seriously no doubt.

"I'm very proud for him being Scottish. Again I'm lucky in that I've played a Ryder Cup in my home country so I know what it's going to feel like for Stevey and how proud he's going to be.

"Lee, despite the fact he's played so many times in the Ryder Cup, there's a real sense of pride on the phone that he made the team. He's very gracious, very humble about that fact he's going to be on this team. And well, Ian Poulter is a a bundle of energy when you speak to him, you could feel the energy coming down the phone and you could feel the excitement. They were the easy phonecalls I have to say.

"The difficult ones were made too. Francesco Molinari, I just want to mention too. He was a very serious contender. We gave him a lot of thought, a lot of consideration and, just like Luke, he was incredibly humble and incredibly accepting of my decision even though it was a very difficult call to make. I couldn't have asked for two guys to accept the decision in a better way."

PA

European team

Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Stephen Gallacher, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Victor Dubuisson, Thomas Bjorn and Jamie Donaldson.

 

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific