EUROPEAN captain Paul McGinley will leave personal feelings to one side as he weighs up current form against Ryder Cup experience in making his wild card selections today.
The nine automatic qualifiers for McGinley’s team were confirmed on Sunday when Stephen Gallacher narrowly failed to dislodge Graeme Mc- Dowell from the side, the Scot finishing one shot outside the tie for second place he needed in the Italian Open.
McGinley hailed Gallacher’s “terrific performance”
in closing with a flawless 65 to follow his seventh place in the previous event, but was quick to stress he would coldly assess the situation after the conclusion of the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday.
Although there are no qualifying points on offer, ‘Miracle at Medinah’ heroes Luke Donald and Ian Poulter were competing in Boston, while another wild card hopeful, Lee Westwood, failed to qualify for the second FedEx Cup play-off event.
“There will be some very difficult decisions to be made,” McGinley told Press Association Sport. ““Personal things go out of the window and that’s what it will be for me. I am prepared for the tough decisions, I am not afraid to make those.”
McGinley played alongside Westwood in 2002, 2004 and 2006, with Donald in 2004 and 2006 and just once with Poulter (2004) but was also vice-captain in 2010 and 2012 when all three players helped Europe claim narrow wins at Celtic Manor and Medinah.
The 47-year-old Dubliner will therefore be well aware of Poulter’s heroics in Chicago and, to a slightly lesser extent, the vital contributions of Donald and Westwood.
With Europe 10-4 down on Saturday afternoon, Donald and Sergio Garcia beat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker on the 18th and the Englishman then went on to beat Bubba Watson in the opening singles match. Westwood lost two foursomes and was carried to victory by Nicolas Colsaerts in the fourballs, but secured a vital win over Matt Kuchar on the final day.
Gallacher undoubtedly presents the strongest case for inclusion on current form.
The 39-year-old finished seventh in the Czech Masters to give himself a better chance of qualifying in the final event, where he started his second round 15 shots off the lead after Hennie Otto’s superb 62.