If we were Thomas Bjorn...

That’s it. Qualifying is over. Two thirds of the European team has been decided with the remaining four scheduled to be announced by Bjorn on Wednesday. Here’s our take on the situation, starting with a look at the players that have secured their place.

The Automatics

Rory Mcilroy – Our talisman. Relishes the competition, will put his name forward for the big matches and has amassed more points than Harrington, Donald and Lyle despite still being in his twenties 

Justin Rose – Another Ryder Cup stalwart and major champion. Immensely strong all round game and very consistent performer.

Tommy Fleetwood – Great hair, even more beautiful swing. Ryder cup rookie but his performances over the last couple of years should give Bjorn more than enough confidence to give Tommy a significant role. 

John Rahm – Much like Fleetwood, Rahm is another rookie that comes in with a record that belies the rookie tag. He’s a fiery Spaniard that will no doubt leave his mark on the competition in one way or another over the coming years.

Tyrell Hatton – Another fiery character that won’t be afraid to display his emotions. His rookie appearance in an event that should suit his character well.

Francesco Molinari – Delivered his Open Championship win whilst playing next to Tiger Woods and Tiger’s large army of fans so his composure can’t be questioned. World class tee to green, he’ll be a perfect foursomes partner but will need to get his putter going to deliver the points for Europe.

Alex Noren – Rookie Swede that arrives with a strong and consistent pedigree, seven tour wins over the last four years along with a third place finish in the WGC Match Play this year.

Thorbjorn Olesen – Five top-six finishes including a win in his ten starts over the last three months. Olesen secured his spot in the last few weeks, he arrives a man in form and the fifth rookie on the team. 

Our Picks

Ian Poulter – Mr Ryder Cup. Unbelievable record, huge character and has turned around the loss of form that saw him slip to 202nd in the world at the end of 2016. The Postman will be selected and deliver again.

Henrik Stenson – Ice cool and highly experienced. Brings a balance to a passionate and rookie heavy team. Rose’s preferred partner, together they have proved to be a very effective fourball team with three wins from four games when paired together.

Thomas Pieters – Three top-tens in his last five starts provides a bit of back up to the promise of a reunion with Rory. The first European rookie to score four points in his debut event gets the nod from us.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello – The lure of an all Spanish partnership was too much for us to resist. An excellent performer in 2016, Rafa takes our twelfth spot ahead of the chasing pack.

Those that miss out

Paul Casey – Can count himself slightly unlucky but he’s not done enough over the last few months to guarantee a spot and we felt that Stenson, Pieters and Cabrera-Bello offered better pairings for Europe’s key players. 

Sergio Garcia – Ticked the Spanish box but woefully inconsistent form has caused him to miss out despite his fantastic Ryder Cup record.

Matt Fitzpatrick – Not improved since his 2016 season and wasn’t able to get off the mark in the last Ryder Cup makes Fitzpatrick less desirable than Rafa or Pieters.

Matt Wallace, Eddie Pepperell & Russell Knox – Have all showcased some form over the last few weeks and deserve to be in contention but unfortunately, with five rookies already in the team, this year’s picks are there to add experience. 

Those are our choices. Over to you Thomas…

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Image Credit: Nicolas DUPREY/ CD 78