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Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley to reveal wild card picks

Updated: Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 14:16 | Comments

Paul McGinley has three picks to complete his 12-man team
Paul McGinley has three picks to complete his 12-man team

European captain Paul McGinley is set to name his Ryder Cup wild cards today, with two former world number ones anxiously awaiting his decision.

McGinley has three picks to complete his 12-man team but at least four strong candidates to choose from, with Stephen Gallacher, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter understood to be the men in the frame.

Gallacher significantly improved his chances of a Ryder Cup debut by finishing third in the Italian Open on Sunday, just one shot outside the share of second place which would have secured an automatic qualifying berth.

And with Poulter boasting an amazing record of 12 points from 15 matches in the biennial contest, the final wild card could come down to former number ones Donald and Westwood.

"There will be some very difficult decisions to be made," said McGinley. "I have been on Tour now for 21 years, I know everybody on Tour.

"I've spoken about the bonding I felt with players I have played with, they would walk in the door and we have a sixth sense.

"You can imagine how difficult it's going to be for me if I have to call one of them up and say 'I'm sorry you're not one of my picks,' I am maybe going with a rookie I don't have any bonding with.

"That's going to be very difficult for me but I am prepared for that. Olly (2012 captain Jose Maria Olazabal) made a wonderful point when people were talking about is he going to pick a player because you like or don't like them, and he said this is the Ryder Cup, I'm here to win the Ryder Cup.

"I am prepared for the tough decisions, I am not afraid to make those" - Paul McGinley

"Personal things go out of the window and that's what it will be for me. I am prepared for the tough decisions, I am not afraid to make those."

McGinley played alongside Westwood in 2002, 2004 and 2006, with Donald in 2004 and 2006 and just once with Poulter (2004), but was also vice-captain in 2010 and 2012 when all three players helped Europe claim narrow wins at Celtic Manor and Medinah.

The 47-year-old Dubliner will therefore be well aware of Poulter's heroics in Chicago and, to a slightly lesser extent, the vital contributions of Donald and Westwood.

With Europe 10-4 down on Saturday afternoon, Donald and Sergio Garcia beat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker on the 18th to secure a vital point and the Englishman went on to beat Bubba Watson in the opening singles match.

Westwood lost two foursomes and was carried to victory by Nicolas Colsaerts in the fourballs, but secured a vital win over Matt Kuchar on the final day.

The 41-year-old has made eight appearances in succession and won 21 points from 37 matches, while Donald has claimed 10-and-a-half points from 15.

Europe's automatic qualifiers:

Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson (Swe), Victor Dubuisson (Fr), Jamie Donaldson (Wal), Sergio Garcia (Spa), Thomas Bjorn (Den), Justin Rose (Eng), Martin Kaymer (Ger), Graeme McDowell.

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