LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Those campaigning for Bernhard Langer as a European Ryder Cupper might want to find another cause.
Paul McGinley all but squashed that idea Wednesday at the PGA Championship, saying it was too difficult to evaluate the soon-to-be 57-year-old.
Why? Well, for starters, the European side uses both the Official World Golf Ranking and the Order of Merit for qualification. The only OWGR event that Langer played in this year was the Masters, where he tied for eighth, so he is not even on the radar. Plus, with so many talented players vying for a spot, McGinley says it’s “very hard” to determine how a Champions Tour player stacks up.
“I’ll never say never,” McGinley said, “but it’s 99.9 percent sure that my picks will come from the guys who are on the periphery of the team and chasing at the moment.”
So at Valhalla, he preferred to discuss those players with a realistic chance to make the team.
Currently, a few of the usual suspects are on the outside looking in, most notably Lee Westwood, Miguel Angel Jimenez and 2012 hero Ian Poulter. A recent run of five consecutive top 10s worldwide has pushed Graeme McDowell into one of the automatic spots on the World Points List, but he is just one point ahead of No. 9 Jamie Donaldson and two clear of No. 10 Luke Donald. Stephen Gallacher isn’t far behind, either.
The final day of U.S. qualifying is this Sunday, after the final round of the PGA, but the deadline for the European side is not until Aug. 31. Both the PGA and The Barclays are in that window, which means a lot of world-ranking points are at stake in the coming weeks.
“It’s all still up for grabs,” McGinley said. “I think it’s going to be an exciting run in for those guys, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all evolves.”