Ryder Cup: Paul McGinley to name his captain's picks on Tuesday
Last Updated: 02/09/14 9:37am
Paul McGinley will finalise Europe's Ryder Cup team with the addition of his three captain's picks on Tuesday.
McGinley will reveal the additional selections live on Sky Sports News HQ from 12:30pm after a couple of days thinking about his options in the wake of Sunday's Italian Open.
The Irishman already knew eight of his team going in to the final qualifying event in Turin, with the only question mark whether Stephen Gallacher could force his way into the ninth spot ahead of Graeme McDowell.
But the Scot could only manage third, when he needed to finish in the top two, seeing his hopes ended by a sloppy finish to the final round and a grandstand conclusion from Englishman David Howell.
Europe's Ryder Cup Team
Plus THREE wildcard picks
That left McDowell to join world No 1 Rory McIlroy, European No 1 Henrik Stenson, Thomas Bjorn, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose and rookies Jamie Donaldson and Victor Dubuisson as automatic qualifiers.
Gallacher is now left to sweat on a place in the team for the Gleneagles spectacular from September 26-28, the event being played a matter of 35 miles from his home on a course he has fond memories of.
He has recorded seven top-10 finishes in 12 appearances and lost a playoff to Tommy Fleetwood in last year's Johnnie Walker Championship.
But the competition for places is strong, something McGinley is delighted with, as experienced campaigners Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood all failed to make the team, as did Francesco Molinari.
McGinley's picks are expected to come from that quintet, with Gallacher the only rookie among them.
Speaking to Sky Sports about Gallacher at the conclusion of the Italian Open, McGinley said: "The gun was to his head but he performed very strongly. All credit to him. It's unfortunate he's come up one shot short of being an automatic in the team.
"This has been the toughest ever Ryder Cup team to make from a European point of view, in terms of points you need to amass to make the team, so he has been up against. And for a rank and file guy from the European Tour, who doesn’t play in America and misses out on a lot of the world ranking points as a result, to perform as well as he does all credit to him.
"His performance this week will very strongly be in his favour when it comes to making the picks but there is a lot of emotion around here at the moment, let’s put a little bit of cold water on it."
Donald and Poulter are still competing in the FedEx Cup playoff events, but Westwood missed out on qualifying for the second of them, the Deutsche Bank Championship.
McGinley played alongside Westwood in 2002, 2004 and 2006, with Donald in 2004 and 2006 and just once with Poulter (2004) but he was also vice-captain in 2010 and 2012 when all three players helped Europe claim narrow wins at Celtic Manor and Medinah, Poulter playing the starring role in the latter victory.
"There will be some very difficult decisions to be made," McGinley said. "I have been on Tour now for 21 years, I know everyone.
"I've spoke about the bonding I felt with players I have played with, they would walk in the door and we have a sixth sense.
"You can imagine how difficult it's going to be for me if I have to call one of them up and say 'I'm sorry, you're not one of my picks,' I am maybe going with a rookie I don't have any bonding with.
"That's going to be very difficult for me but I am prepared for that. Olly (2012 captain Jose Maria Olazabal) made a wonderful point when people were talking about is he going to pick a player because you like or don't like them, and he said this is the Ryder Cup. I'm here to win the Ryder Cup.
"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."
Watch confirmation of Paul McGinley's Ryder Cup team from 12:30pm on Tuesday on Sky Sports News HQ and Tom Watson's US wildcard picks at midnight. Coverage of the event proper starts on September 26 on channel 405, our dedicated Sky Sports Ryder Cup channel.