Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Edoardo Molinari were today selected by Europe captain Colin Montgomerie as his “wild card” picks to face the U.S. in golf’s Ryder Cup in October.
Three-time major winner Harrington of Ireland, England’s Donald and Italy’s Molinari -- winner of the Johnnie Walker Championship this weekend -- join nine players automatically qualified from world and European rankings.
The 38th edition of the event takes place Oct. 1-3 at Celtic Manor in Wales, with Europe aiming to reclaim the title after the U.S. won 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 two years ago in Louisville, Kentucky.
Lee Westwood of England, U.S. PGA Championship winner Martin Kaymer of Germany, Rory McIlroy and U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, and Englishmen Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher had all qualified through the rankings prior to the Johnnie Walker Championship. Italy’s Francesco Molinari secured a spot on Aug. 26, with Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez and Sweden’s Peter Hanson confirmed today.
England’s Paul Casey and Justin Rose, who were among players to skip the Johnnie Walker to play in the first of the four FedEx Cup playoff events on the U.S. Tour, are among those to miss out.
Edoardo Molinari helped his case today by taking the Johnnie Walker title at Gleneagles, Scotland, by one stroke from Australia’s Brett Rumford after finishing the final round with three straight birdies.
The eight U.S. qualifiers for the Ryder Cup were determined after the PGA Championship two weeks ago. Corey Pavin will name his four captain’s picks on Sept. 7 in New York. World No. 1 Tiger Woods didn’t automatically qualify.
Also today, Montgomerie named a fourth non-playing vice-captain, Spain’s Sergio Garcia.