European Ryder Cup squad finds space for Poulter

Jose Maria Olazabal chose his final 12 players for the Ryder Cup, and said he believed the competition was wide open this year. He picked Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts to add to the top ten in the standings.

Europe’s players have been in outstanding form in recent weeks. Rory McIlroy won the USPGA major, Sergio García achieved his first Tour win in four years at the Wyndham Championship and Paul Lawrie capped a brilliant year for the Scot by winning the Johnnie Walker Championship.

"From the beginning of this year the Americans showed a lot of form, winning the Masters and US Open," Olazábal said. "It looked like they were having the upper hand. What has happened in the last three weeks has balanced out the situation. Both teams are pretty much even, I don't see truly a favourite in this Ryder Cup."

Colsaerts is a young player in excellent form and Olazabal was impressed by the commitment he showed in trying to qualify for the team. Ian Poulter has plenty of Ryder Cup experience and Olazabal wanted to draw on his confidence and competitive spirit.

There was no place for Padraig Harrington. "I want to have the best players in the team,” the captain explained, "and while Padraig has proven he is a great player you could say the same about Paul Casey, Robert Karlsson or any of the past Ryder Cup players who have played well."

Olazabal called Harrington personally to break the news. "I have to say he took it well," he said.

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