Ian Poulter says Europe has a “stacked team” after he was handed one of Padraig Harrington’s three captain’s picks for the Ryder Cup (United States 8/15, Europe 6/4 – To Lift the Cup) at Whistling Straits.
Harrington made his announcement after the conclusion of the BMW PGA Championship on Sunday, adding Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry and Poulter to his 12-man team for the event in Wisconsin.
It is not hard to see why the Englishman, nicknamed ‘The Postman’ when it comes to this competition, was handed one of the captain’s picks. The 45-year-old has lost just six of his 22 Ryder Cup matches and is undefeated in the singles.
Garcia’s inclusion is also warranted, given the fact he is Europe’s all-time leading points scorer with 25.5 points and he will now be preparing for his 10th Ryder Cup outing after making his debut back in 1999.
Lowry’s choice was a little more complicated after he failed to record the top-eight finish required at the BMW PGA to snatch one of the final automatic qualifying spots.
Englishman Justin Rose made a late run for a captain’s pick by finishing tied-sixth at Wentworth, but this wasn’t enough and Harrington decided to hand 2019 Open champion Lowry his Ryder Cup debut.
Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Matt Fitzpatrick, Bernd Wiesberger, Tyrrell Hatton, Lee Westwood, who will be making his 11th appearance, Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood were the nine automatic qualifiers for Europe.
Speaking on Sky Sports after his pick, Poulter (10/1 – Top European Points Scorer) said: “It’s surreal. To be stood here with the trophy in front of me to know that we are going to go again is amazing. Seven Ryder Cups is stuff that dreams are made of.
“This trophy has made a lot to me over the years and for Padraig to call me today and say ‘listen, I want you part of my team,’ is emotional. You can see it on Sergio’s face too. It’s a stacked team and I’m excited.”
The American team is made up of Justin Thomas (13/2 – Top USA Points Scorer), Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay, Harris English, Tony Finau, Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele, Daniel Berger and Scottie Scheffler.