Every European player inside the top-50 in the world, except Sergio Garcia, teed it up at the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship. While that event was won by Simon Khan, who moved from 471st to 106th in the world, and one would think nowhere close to Monty’s radar, one player who most definitely is making a run for the team is Luke Donald.
After finishing runner-up at Wentworth, the Englishman is continuing his momentum this week at the Madrid Masters, where he enters the weekend with a one-shot lead.
Donald, who ranks 13th in the world, does not currently qualify for an automatic bid since the European team’s formula pulls the top four players on the World Points List followed by the next five players from the European Points List.
Right now Donald falls just short at fifth on the World Points List and sits 20th on the European Points List. Donald is trying his best to make the team after missing out in 2008 after suffering a left wrist injury that cut his season short. But Donald donned the European uniform in 2004 and '06 with a spectacular Ryder Cup record of 5-1-1.
Donald has also shown his dedication to make the team by turning down an invitation to play at the Memorial Tournament next week, choosing instead to play in Wales at Celtic Manor, site of this year’s Ryder Cup. Monty said he wants all contenders for the team to tee it up in Wales and was quoted as saying, “I can’t insist … but I am sure I will get a number to say ‘yes’ and I would expect those potential Ryder Cup players to all be playing.”
As of now, not one of the five Europeans currently inside the top 10 in the world are in the Celtic Manor field. But in addition to Donald, other Ryder Cup hopefuls who have committed to play include the Molinari brothers, Martin Kaymer, Robert Karlsson, Miguel Angel Jiminez, Ross Fisher, Graeme McDowell, and Alvaro Quiros.