McGinley’s Choice 11

I am starting to look forward with eager anticipation to the Ryder Cup. The European team is looking very strong, and Paul McGinley’s selection choice is absolutely fascinating. At present, it appears that he might have to choose three from five out of Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Stephen Gallacher and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

The nine automatically selected on current standings would be
Rory McIlroy
Victor Dubuisson
Sergio Garcia
Henrik Stenson

(The top 4 in the European money list)

Justin Rose
Martin Kaymer
Thomas Bjorn
Graeme McDowell
Jamie Donaldson

(The top 5 in world rankings not pre-selected through the first list)

On the European money list, the three next ranked players not in are

Ian Poulter
Joost Luiten
Miguel Angel Jimenez

On the World ranking list, the three next players not in are

Luke Donald
Stephen Gallacher
Ian Poulter

Of course the current USPGA in particular and other remaining tournaments might change things, but not that much. Jamie Donaldson might slip out of last automatic spot on the European list but barring peculiar events would be saved for the team by his position on the world list. The most vulnerable automatic qualifier position looks to be that of Graeme McDowell from the world ranking. He is benefiting from the world ranking’s crediting of historic performance. He needs a good performance or two to stay in. If he slips out, on current form he is not an automatic pick. My own view is that McIlroy can play with any partner.

Westwood leads the USPGA this morning on 6 under. Only winning things now will get him an automatic slot, but I think that he is showing sufficient form for him to get a captain’s pick. That may be unlucky for Miguel Angel Jimenez, as massive experience should not be criterion for all the picks. Poulter at the moment is just short on both lists, and I think McGinley would be nuts to leave him out with his Ryder Cup record.

The crowd is Europe’s “thirteenth man” and I think that will get Stephen Gallacher a pick if needed, ahead of Donald, Jimenez or Luiten. Donald just does not have enough recent form, barring a spectacular resurgence. Jimenez would let nobody down and would be tough to leave out – and the four times he has been on the team, the team has won! But if a realistically qualified home player is available, there should always be one in the team to be roared on by the crowd. Home advantage really does lift people in sport.

There will be changes in the points tables, and form will be important in the next few weeks. I shall update these early musings closer to the selection date.

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11 thoughts on “McGinley’s Choice

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)


    An ineffectual attempt to direct an uncontrollable sphere into an inaccessible hole with instruments ill-adapted to the purpose. — Winston Churchill

    Or is the Ryder Cup tennis? I can never remember.

  • Kempe

    England’s 2,000 golf courses occupy 270,000 hectares land which could be better used growing crops, biofuels or for housing.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    Or native woodland, in which no-one could ever commit golf again.

  • doug scorgie

    Ba’al Zevul (With Gaza)
    8 Aug, 2014 – 11:44 am

    “Or is the Ryder Cup tennis? I can never remember.”


    No Ba’al that’s the Davis Cup and Israel are having problems with it:

    “The International Tennis Federation has (ITF) told Israel it cannot host its Davis Cup World Group playoff against Argentina in Tel Aviv next month because of safety concerns caused by the conflict in Gaza.”

    “The ruling body that organises the men’s team competition said that “while the military conflict seemed to be slowing down, there was no certainty that this would be the case at the time of the tie that is due to take place in five weeks”.

    “The Davis Cup committee said in a statement it “felt that its first priority was to ensure the safety of the players, officials and the public, and regretfully decided that the tie would not be held in Israel as originally scheduled”.

    “Israel has been given until next Thursday to nominate an alternative venue to host the 12-14 September tie. Venues in eastern Europe, the United States or Canada are seen as possible options, a spokeswoman for the Israeli Tennis Association said.”

  • craig Post author


    A large majority of those golf courses are in places where, were they not golf courses, they would have been built over.

    Of course human activity replaces a lot of wilderness. You could kill of the all the humans and give the earth a different ecological balance. But I rather favour humans, and their pursuits, of which gold is a nice one. And golf courses are themselves a habitat for much wildlife.

  • BrianFujisan

    My best ever memory of Golf courses was Leaving my footprints ALL OVER the Lomond course…at around 6 am on hard frosty winter Dawn… Beautiful to look upon with the Ben in the background..Now wher are those fotos??

  • Fool

    Was it Iggy Pop who said that golf is like life only the first and last shots count and you can do the hell what you like in between? If he did he was slightly wrong. The beauty of golf is how it plays with the mind and the difficulty of focusing on each shot and each shot alone. It should be compulsory and everyone ought to be allocated a club at birth regardless of their social status and be required to play several times a year with their scores recorded on a government data base and factored into their tax coding.

  • Mary

    US PGA second-round leaderboard
    16.45 9 August 2014

    -9: R McIlroy (NI)

    -8: J Day (Aus), J Furyk (US)

    -7: R Palmer (US), R Fowler (US), M Ilonen (Fin)

    -6: P Mickelson (US), B Wiesberger (Aut)

  • Fool

    If there were a pursuit, which required the participant to dress up in jester’s clothes and venture out and learn to avoid despair, to clear their mind and try again and again and again and never give up against all odds: how could such a training ever be considered wasteful. Guardian’s perception is clouded by prejudice.

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