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Ryder Cup 2021: Predicting Team Europe & Team USA Lineups


Time is slowly ebbing away for some of the world's best golfers to book their place at the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

With just a few quality scoring events remaining between now and the respective captains' picks, we've dusted down our crystal ball to predict the two 12-man sides for the most prestigious team event in men's golf.

Team Europe points list qualifiers

The first automatic European qualifiers will go to the four highest-ranked golfers on the Ryder Cup European points list, followed by the five highest-ranked golfers on the World Points list not already selected.

With that in mind, the nine golfers automatically booking their seat on the plane to Wisconsin will likely be:

Jon Rahm - He's a ferocious competitor and world number one for a reason. Team USA should be wary.

Tommy Fleetwood - A star from the victorious 2018 team as one half of the MoliWood pairing. Fleetwood clearly excels in match play golf.

Tyrrell Hatton - A 'Ryder Cup dream' according to captain Harrington after his win at the Abu Dhabi HSBC back in January.

Rory McIlroy - At his best and with the right partner, McIlroy can be an almighty weapon at Whistling Straits.

Viktor Hovland - Debut appearance for the talented Norweigan. He could be an ace up the Europeans' sleeve.

Paul Casey - The Englishman has featured on three separate victorious Ryder Cup teams and is in solid form.

Matt Fitzpatrick - Will be itching for revenge after two defeats at Le Golf National last time around.

Lee Westwood - Pretty consistent this year and adds much-needed experience to the ranks.

Shane Lowry - Grabs the final automatic spot via the World Points list but could do with a solid performance or two before Sept 12.

Predicting Harrington's 3 picks

Last month, Padraig Harrington seemed to suggest that if the final automatic qualifier was a rookie, he would likely look to bolster the experience of his European squad with his wildcard picks.

With that in mind, here's our prediction:

Sergio Garcia - Quite an easy pick given Sergio's previous Ryder Cup record. A magician when he's on his game.

Ian Poulter - 'The Postman' always delivers and he seems to be a nailed on pick for Captain Harrington.

Justin Rose - It seems likely that this third pick is between either Rose or Robert MacIntyre. What do you choose? Experience or youth? The guy who has been there and done it, or the fearless, in-form golfer seemingly primed for Ryder Cup stardom? We went for Rosey. Just.

Team USA points list qualifiers

Steve Stricker has six golfers qualifying through the Ryder Cup points list and leaves himself a little more creative license - and perhaps a few more headaches - with six captain's picks available.

Those automatic spots will likely go to:

Collin Morikawa - Man for the big occasion with two major championship titles in just eight starts.

Dustin Johnson - A formidable opponent for any European despite a 1-4-0 record in Paris.

Bryson DeChambeau - After attempting to wrestle back the Ryder Cup, he'll head to the World Long Drive Championship. That's Bryson for you!

Brooks Koepka - Win or lose, we doubt he'll be sharing a drink with DeChambeau.

Justin Thomas - Impressive return of four points from five matches at his debut Ryder Cup in Paris.

The final points list qualifier will likely come from the trio of Tony Finau (currently occupying sixth position), Xander Schauffele or Jordan Spieth. We're expecting a good showing from Schauffele in one of the two remaining FedEx Cup Playoff events, so he gets the nod.

Predicting Stricker's 6 picks

The US captain has already stated that he will seek advice on his wildcard picks from the six golfers who make the team automatically. While that doesn't exactly help us, we'll do our best to select the half dozen captain's picks below.

Tony Finau - A first win in 1,975 days has propelled the likeable American into the world's top ten and straight into Stricker's plans.

Jordan Spieth - Probably the easiest of wildcard picks. Spieth simply has to tee it up at Whistling Straits.

Harris English - Two wins in 2021 and has been playing very solid golf recently. Seems to be a lock.

Patrick Reed - 'Captain America' was been sidelined with a dodgy ankle before being hospitalised with bilateral pneumonia, so his chances of an automatic spot seem gone. If he's fit to play, he's an easy pick.

Patrick Cantlay  -  Will be both a great team player and a flexible option through the three days' play. Still inside the world's top ten.

Webb Simpson -  A conservative pick maybe with others including Zalatoris and Berger to consider. Steady leadership qualities will likely win Simpson a fourth Ryder Cup appearance.

Phil Mickelson freely admits that he's been in poor form, PGA Championship win apart. He'll have to content himself with a vice-captain role by our calculations.

Who do you think both captains will choose for their wildcard picks? Let us know in the comments, and join the conversation on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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