CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. – Graeme McDowell could feel Luke Donald’s pain with Donald being left off the European Ryder Cup team Monday, but McDowell likes what Stephen Gallacher brings to the team.
Gallacher nearly bumped McDowell from being one of the nine players who automatically qualified for the team with Gallacher’s strong play Sunday at the Italian Open. Gallacher needed to finish among the top two in Italy to overtake McDowell but came up one shot short, finishing third.
“David Howell's round on Sunday was the only thing that stopped him from passing me,” McDowell said. “I watched the last four or five holes. I really believed he was going to do it, and I was OK with that. I had sort of made peace with myself, that I had done everything I could and that I was happy for anything to happen. I felt quietly confident that I might get a captain's nod if I needed it.”
Gallacher, a Scot, will be embraced with the Ryder Cup to be played at Gleneagles in Scotland Sept. 25-28.
“I was happy to see him get a pick, because I thought he deserved one,” McDowell said. “When the chips were down, he was asked the questions. I thought the round he played on Sunday showed a lot about him and his character and his personality and the type of player that he can be at the Ryder Cup.
“I think we all knew at the outset of this last 12 months that someone was going to end up disappointed, and I'm sure Luke Donald is very disappointed. His Ryder Cup record's immense, former world No. 1. I feel for him, that it had to be him. I'm sure it was a very difficult decision for the captain to make. And Luke Donald would have been a massive asset, as well.”
McDowell likes the team Europe will take to Scotland in its bid to win the Ryder Cup for the sixth time in its last seven tries.
“I think our team’s really solid,” McDowell said.