European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley said “something spectacular” during the final week of qualifying could influence his three wild-card selections.
Only Stephen Gallacher can play his way into a spot on the 12-man roster. Teeing it up this week at the European Tour’s Italian Open, the Scotsman must finish first or second to unseat Graeme McDowell for the ninth and final qualifying spot.
“I want to see guys bursting over the line this week,” McGinley told reporters Wednesday.
That’s exactly what Jamie Donaldson did last week, adding the Czech Masters to his schedule and then winning the event for his first title of the year. At 38, he’ll be making his first Ryder Cup appearance.
Luke Donald and Ian Poulter, stalwarts for the European side but now in need of a captain’s pick, are playing this week in Boston, while Joost Luiten and Francesco Molinari are among those in the field in Italy.
“If something spectacular happens either here (in Europe) or in America this week, then I will consider it,” McGinley said. “A win here would be hugely significant in this kind of spotlight at the last counting event. It would be massively significant in terms of pushing someone over the line.”
Both McGinley and U.S. skipper Tom Watson will make their wild-card picks during a nationally televised announcement on Tuesday.