Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Capt Clarke picks Kaymer, Pieters and 

Westwood ... no place for Russell Knox
So there is no place for Florida-based, Inverness-born Russell Knox in the European team for the Ryder Cup match at Hazeltine National.
European captain Darren Clarke has named Martin Kaymer, Thomas Pieters and Lee Westwood as his three captain’s picks
Former world No. 1’s Kaymer and Westwood, who have 12 previous Ryder Cup appearances between them, 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.
 Knox just missed out on automatic qualification for the team, and is not rated highly enough by captain Clarke to be a wild-card pick, despite his recent win in the US PGA Tour's Travelers Championship and last year’s WGC – HSBC success in China.
“I’ve not had much sleep,” said Clarke of leaving out Knox, the world-ranked No. 20. “My phone call to him was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.”
Knox said on Twitter later: ‘Best wishes to the @RyderCupEurope. Disappointed not to be joining you, but will be rooting you on.’
The trio selected today 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 in the three-day match from  September 30 to October 2.
Clarke’s side now includes six rookies, along with six players who have tasted the Ryder Cup experience before.
Englishman Westwood will make his 10th appearance in the biennial contest, joining the late Christy O’Connor senior 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.
Explaining his picks, Clarke said: “In Lee Westwood I have one of most experienced Ryder Cuppers of all time – it will be  his 10th appearance. Martin Kaymer is somewhat of a Ryder Cup stalwart and another man I’ve enormous trust in.”
Pieters, meanwhile, played alongside Clarke as he claimed the Made in Denmark Tournament title on the European Tour on Sunday – his third European Tour title in 12 months. 
“Last week I played with Thomas Pieters and Thomas knew why I was playing with him. He played unbelievably and shot 62 and, on top of that, won the tournament,” added Clarke.



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