The Ryder Cup is that one event that elicits national pride, nerves and excitement all at the same time from start to finish of each and every day of competition.
On Wednesday, captain Tom Watson for the United States and captain Paul McGinley of the European team gave three more players the opportunity to compete for their respective countries and feel one of the greatest thrills of professional golf.
McGinley announced his captain’s picks were Stephen Gallagher, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood. The three men join Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Victor Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Thomas Bjorn, and Graeme McDowell who were automatic qualifiers.
The European squad currently has the cup after they retained it on points at Medinah two years ago from an incredible Sunday, singles comeback.
Poulter has struggled this year on tour but has been one of the biggest stalwarts for the European team in Ryder Cup history. He has an impressive record of 12-3-0 and wasn’t going to be passed by. The European squad has seven players ranked in the top 25 and no one is ranked worse than 38th in the world.
Watson also released his captain’s selections which included Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson. Bradley made a huge impact on his previous Ryder Cup experience, pairing with Phil Mickelson to go 3-0-0 in the team format. Mahan has played in two prior Ryder Cup’s, his last coming in 2010 though. Simpson was also a rookie on the last Ryder Cup that is seeking vindication.
In 23 days the Ryder Cup will begin with the U.S. squad sending Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Walker and Bubba Watson as the automatic qualifiers to Glen Eagles in Scotland.
The United States has nine players in the top 20 in the official world rankings with no one worse than 32nd in the world.
Ryder Cup action always produces high drama and emotions. Story lines are certain to be abound as the United States looks to win back the cup for the first time since 2008.