European Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjorn named Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson as his four wild-card selections to complete his 12-player team for the Ryder Cup matches, September 28-30, 2018, at Le Golf National, France.
The four picks will join the eight players who already qualified via points: Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren, Thorbjørn Olesen, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose.
“These four were desperate to be part of The Ryder Cup and as soon as they got the call, their minds went straight to, ‘right, we’ve got to achieve something in Paris’,” said Bjorn.
“I always say there are players who want to be in The Ryder Cup team, and there are players who want to play in The Ryder Cup. These four players want to play in the Ryder Cup. They want to be on the golf course and win points.
“It makes me very happy to see this group of 12. I believe that together we can do great things. If I had written down 12 names before I started my captaincy journey, it wouldn’t have been far away from this.
“I’m very delighted with this team and I’m very proud to be captain for these 12 players. They bring so much to European golf, and they are just a fantastic group of guys.
“We know what we are up against. We know what America brings, but I’m confident that this is the group of guys that can do the job.”
Garcia (8), Poulter (5), Stenson (4), and Casey (3) bring with them 20 previous appearances in the biennial matches, combining for 48.5 points.
Stenson, Casey, and Poulter were considered favorites to be named, with a struggling, but experienced, Garcia reportedly edging compatriot Rafael Carbrera-Bello and England’s Matt Wallace, a three-time winner this season, for the final spot.
Garcia, who is just three points away from becoming Europe’s all-time points leader, was relived to hear the news.
“It feels amazing. I’m very thankful to Thomas for believing in me. I know that it probably wasn’t an easy decision, but he knows what I bring to the team, not only game-wise but inside the team room,” said Garica.
“It’s been a tough year. I’ve been working hard. I feel like my game is coming along. Obviously I played quite nicely in Greensboro a couple of weeks back, and now I’m trying to be as ready as I can be to help the European Team win that Cup back. That’s the goal and that’s what we want.”