The Golfer of the Year – an award Ballesteros won on three occasions in 1986, ‘88 and ‘91 – is voted for by the golf media. He beat off competition from Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Rookie of the Year Jon Rahm...
Poulter, Gallacher and Westwood are Europe’s Ryder Cup wild-card Picks
Europe’s captain Paul McGinley announced his choices of Ian Poulter, Stephen Gallacher and Lee Westwood at Wentworth on Tuesday.
McGinley opted against the selection of Luke Donald to this Ryder Cup. Donald, a former No1, has never played in a losing Ryder Cup team and has an impressive record of only 4 defeats in 15 matches.
Gallacher however will be delighted, he will make his Ryder Cup debut at Gleneagles, just 35 miles from his Scottish home.
When asked about Donald’s response, McGinley replied ““Luke was very, very disappointed and rightly so. My personal relationship with him goes back to the first shot he ever hit in a Ryder Cup because I was his partner. Luke said to me: ‘You know, Paul, I publicly backed you to be captain. Even though you haven’t picked me, I still think you’ll be a great captain.’”
With Poulter always guaranteed selection due to his past Ryder Cup heroics, this essentially became a battle between Westwood and Donald. Westwood has been far from his best in recent times though there have been flashes of his ability on the biggest stages such as the Masters, Players Championship and US PGA Championship.
“I breathed a sigh of relief,” said Westwood of his Monday evening call from McGinley. “I am honoured to represent Europe again. I would imagine Luke will be very disappointed but these are the decisions the captain has to make.”
Gallacher’s consistent form on the European Tour was always likely to appeal to the European captain. Gallacher would have taken Graeme McDowell's position as the final automatic qualifier had he finished in the top two in Turin.