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Shane Lowry has been named as one of Padraig Harrington’s three captain’s picks for Team Europe. Paddy’s pal joins Ryder Cup legends Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia as the Irish legend’s wildcards for the trip to Whistling Straits at the end of the month.
Team Europe enjoyed a 17½-10½ rout of their American rivals when the Ryder Cup was last held almost three years ago at Le Golf National in France. The 12-strong team for this year’s edition was named after the BMW PGA Championship concluded at Wentworth on Sunday.
We now know the 24 players that will compete over three days of intense competition after Steve Stricker named Team USA’s roster last week.
Jon Rahm, the world number one, spearheads the team after topping the European Points list. The Spaniard has enjoyed a brilliant season including victory at the U.S. Open in June.
Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Bernd Wiesberger were the other three qualifiers through the European Points route. Wiesberger is one of three debutants alongside Lowry and Viktor Holland, who qualified through the World Points system.
Matt Fitzpatrick, Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey and Lee Westwood are the other four to join the team through the World Points ranking.
Harrington opted for experience with two of his three captain’s picks. Garcia is the record points scorer while Poulter – unbeaten in singles – has been a clutch player in his six previous appearances.
Despite his lack of Ryder Cup experience, Lowry pipped Justin Rose to the final wildcard spot. “Shane is a big-time player,” Harrington said. “He delivers consistently under pressure. He definitely delivered for me and all the vice-captains. We don’t think of him as a rookie. He is one of our leading players.”
After naming his slick squad, Harrington said: “I’m really happy with my team. I am absolutely thrilled. My biggest difficulty will be that I have too many good players. I have a great team, probably the best team of ball strikers Europe has ever sent out in a Ryder Cup.”
Ryder Cup Odds
Team Europe are the outsiders at 15/8 with Paddy to keep hold of the Ryder Cup. Home advantage has been pretty key in recent years, with the hosts winning on five of the last six editions.
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