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European Ryder Cup side finalised

Clarke has a strong side to tackle the Americans at Hazeltine (file photo) (Photo: Bruce Young)
European Captain Darren Clarke has named Martin Kaymer, Thomas Pieters and Lee Westwood as his three captain’s picks for The 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National.

Former World Number Ones Kaymer and Westwood have 12 previous Ryder Cup appearances between them and will add a wealth of experience to the nine already-confirmed automatic qualifiers, while Pieters’ stunning recent form, which culminated in his impressive victory at last week’s Made in Denmark, is rewarded with a rookie appearance in Minnesota next month.

The trio join Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Andy Sullivan, Danny Willett and Chris Wood in Clarke’s 12-man line up to face Davis Love III’s United States team, as Europe seeks to earn a record fourth consecutive victory from September 30-October 2.

Englishman Westwood will make his tenth appearance in the biennial contest, joining Christy O’Connor Snr and Bernhard Langer on that mark, just one behind Sir Nick Faldo’s European appearance record. Germany’s Kaymer will also be aiming to extend his unblemished record in Minnesota after featuring in each of the last three European victories. 

Clarke said: “In Lee and Martin, I've got two former World Number Ones and guys who bring a wealth of experience to the team. It's just not about playing, it's about the dynamic of the team room and that's involved in it.

“And then I've always been a huge Thomas Pieters fan from when I first witnessed how he hits the golf ball and how he plays. The manner which he's played golf these past few tournaments - fourth in the Olympics, to go to the Czech Masters and get beaten with a birdie on last green; and then last week to do what he did, to birdie the last three holes to win the tournament in the fashion that he did – that just impressed me so much that I found it impossible to leave him off the team.”

 

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