Ryder Cup 2018: Team USA & Team Europe Wildcard Predictions
It's that time in Ryder Cup year when Team USA and Team Europe captains have the unenviable task of selecting their four wildcard picks, over the next week or so, to complete their sides.
In the office, we've been discussing our own personal selections to complete each line-up, and it's helping to build the anticipation for the greatest team event in world golf.
Who should both Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn choose to fill the remaining spaces on their respective Ryder Cup teams? Catch our thoughts below...
This week's Made in Denmark on the European Tour, is the final scoring event for golfers looking to grab one of the eight automatic qualification places in captain Thomas Bjorn's team.
Catch Ryder Cup legend José María Olazábal's preview of this year's event...
As things stand, Champion Golfer of the Year Francesco Molinari will be joined by three Englishmen in Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood with the remaining automatic qualifying spots going to Spaniard Jon Rahm, former world number one Rory McIlroy, and Scandinavian compatriots Alex Noren and Thorbjorn Olesen.
That leaves four captain wildcard picks available and several legitimate options to mull over. Let's do just that...
Possible wildcard picks (Europe)
There are a few high-profile golfers who it would seem are almost a shoo-in for a seat on the plane to Paris next month and chief among them are both Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson. Both of these Ryder Cup stalwarts have experience in abundance and it's hard to see Captain Bjorn going into battle without the 'Postman' or the 'Iceman' at his disposal.
With that said, it would also be a surprise if Paul Casey were to miss out on a first Ryder Cup in over a decade, especially after finally declaring his readiness for Le Golf National by rejoining the European Tour in late 2017.
Oh, and we haven't even discussed the 2017 Masters champ yet.
Sergio Garcia brings so much to the European side when he's on form, but the problem is that he is very much off the boil at present. Seven missed cuts in his previous 12 events collectively demonstrate the Spaniard's complete lack of form. Does he get in on reputation alone? Time will tell we guess.
Other notable options include two impressive 2016 debutants in Thomas Pieters and Rafa Cabrera-Bello. Pieters, in particular, shone brightly at Hazeltine by forging a successful partnership with four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, winning four of a possible five points for the Europeans along the way. Both men have been competitive, if unspectacular in 2018. Will they make it to Paris? It remains to be seen.
Hole19 Team Europe Wildcard Predictions
Our own lucky quartet for the 'boys in blue' are - Stenson, Poulter, Casey and Pieters
The qualification scoring for Team USA ended at the PGA Championship so we now know that the eight automatic qualifiers include the in-form trio of dual 2018 major winner Brooks Koepka, World No.1 Dustin Johnson and 2017 PGA Tour Player of the Year Justin Thomas.
This year's Masters champ, Patrick Reed, is built for match play situations and enjoyed a ding-dong battle with Rory McIlroy at Hazeltine back in 2016.
Relive the most intense singles match from the 41st Ryder Cup...
The remaining four players who are already assured of a place in Jim Furyk's American side are Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson.
Possible Wildcard Predictions (USA)
Three of our Team USA picks are quite simple. Bryson DeChambeau will count himself unlucky to have not qualified automatically and his win at last week's The Northern Trust has solidified his claims, while it seems unthinkable that the Americans would head to this year's Ryder Cup without both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in tow.
That leaves only one final spot up for grabs and we expect it will go to one of the trio of Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele or Kevin Kisner.
The latter was pipped to the post by Bubba Watson at the match play formatted WGC event earlier this year, while Schauffele has carried his impressive 2017 form through to this season. We like the consistent play of Finau though and expect him to take the final place.
Our final four to make up Team USA are - Bryson DeChambeau, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Tony Finau.
Who gets into your Team USA / Team Europe sides for this year's Ryder Cup? Let us know below...
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