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Ryder Cup: Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and Henrik Stenson earn wildcard picks

Sky Sports | Updated: 2018-09-05 22:55:12

Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson have been confirmed as Europe's four captain's picks for the Ryder Cup later this month.

European skipper Thomas Bjorn finalised his 12-man team live in the Sky Sports studios as he unveiled his four wildcards from a lengthy list of contenders.

Poulter, regarded as one of the finest players to compete in the Ryder Cup, returns to the competition having missed the defeat at Hazeltine two years ago due to injury.

Casey was not eligible for the 2016 fixture after declining to renew his European Tour membership, but he is back in the team for the first time since 2008, while Stenson has been passed fit to play in his fifth Ryder Cup following an elbow injury.

Garcia's place in the team looked in jeopardy after the Spaniard endured a torrid run of form over the summer, missing the cut in all four of the major championships while also failing to qualify for the FedExCup Play-Offs.

But the 38-year-old did perform well in the Open de France at Le Golf National as he finished tied for eighth, and Bjorn has handed last year's Masters champion his ninth Ryder Cup cap to add valuable experience to a team containing five rookies.

Bjorn's eight automatic qualifiers were confirmed after the conclusion of last weekend's Made in Denmark, with his fellow Dane Thorbjorn Olesen claiming the final place on the European points list ahead of English duo Matt Fitzpatrick and Eddie Pepperell.

Matt Wallace enhanced his claims for a captain's pick after he birdied five of the last six holes to force his way into a four-man play-off, which he won with a birdie at the second extra hole.

But the Englishman's third win of the season was not enough to earn a place in Bjorn's side, while Rafa Cabrera Bello was also overlooked despite his consistent form this year, culminating in an impressive top-10 finish at the Dell Technologies Championship.

Scotland's Russell Knox was also in the frame having finished runner-up to Alex Noren at the Open de France, and he went on to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open the following week at Ballyliffin as he holed two huge putts on the 18th green to edge out Ryan Fox in a play-off.

And there was also disappointment for Belgian Thomas Pieters, who won four points in a sensational Ryder Cup debut two years ago but has since slipped to 63rd in the world rankings from a career-high of 24th in May last year.

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