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Poulter's chance to reward captain's faith

Iain Carter | 20:18 UK time, Sunday, 31 August 2008

Nick Faldo is his own man. Always has been, always will be and certainly was in selecting Ian Poulter for a wildcard pick.

Recent results, past Ryder Cup performances, the opinions of leading players in this team and a past captain, never mind the majority views on previous threads here, all pointed to a call up for Darren Clarke.

The Ulsterman is surely entitled to feel aggrieved. Without having the benefit of playing all the biggest events, Clarke has risen 200 places from 256 in the world off the back of two wins.

He has won 6 ½ points out of a possible eight in the last two matches and been on the winning side four times in five Ryder Cups.

Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell, who will all be in the European locker room at Valhalla, all expressed their support for Clarke.

So too did former captain Bernard Gallacher, who is shocked Faldo plumped for Poulter instead. "I think morale in the team could be a bit lower for picking Poulter ahead of Darren Clarke," Gallacher said.

In a poll of 32 players here at Gleneagles, Poulter received just one vote.

But none of this matters to Faldo. He wants to shape a team in his own way and even the fact that Poulter didn't come to Scotland to try to qualify of right didn't ultimately count against him.

"Obviously it would have helped," Faldo told me. "He will think about that decision for a long time."

At which point I put it to the captain that Poulter had therefore got away with it.

"You have to stand by that call," Faldo said before revealing: "He was absolutely, totally relieved. It was the first time I haven't heard Poulter -if you know what I mean - he was speechless."

Faldo went for him on the back of his brilliant effort on the final day of the Open and the fifteen foot putt he holed thinking it might be enough to win the Championship.

The skipper also likes his attitude and enjoys a strong rapport with the flamboyant Englishman who can boast only two top tens finishes all year.

This pick is a massive vote of confidence in Poulter and inevitably he will face the closest scrutiny at Valhalla.

He doesn't normally mind being centre of attention, though this past week and his transatlantic squabbles with Colin Montgomerie and the media have made it a very uncomfortable time.

Now he has to make sure his golf does the talking and he rewards the faith of his captain.

While it would have been a real asset to have had an in form Montgomerie in the side, he simply hasn't played well enough this year to warrant a pick.

But a big boost to Faldo is the fact that the last three automatic spots were secured by players who needed to deliver when playing for their places.

Justin Rose, Soren Hansen and Oliver Wilson can head to Kentucky full of confidence and that will be important as they will all be making their debuts.

Paul Casey was a natural choice, he too will feel he can repeat the deeds of his previous two Ryder Cup appearances in which he has only been beaten once - by Tiger Woods in his debut singles match.

It is a young side in which Harrington, Westwood and Garcia will be the on course leaders.

Faldo promises to be an all action captain with only Jose Maria Olazabal there as back up. The skipper will be making his decisions on the evidence of his own eyes rather than on information gathered by trusted lieutenants.

It's the Faldo show - he had tough decisions to make, they've been made and soon it will be game time. He heads to America with the team that he wanted. Now can they deliver?

On paper they are strong enough, there is class, form, youth and experience the captain can have no complaints.


Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    What do people think about the omission of Darren Clarke ahead of Poulter and Casey, both of whom have put the US tour ahead of the European Tour?

    In my opinion over the last few weeks Clarke (and Justin Rose) have shown how much it means to play in the Ryder cup whereas Poulter and Casey appear to have put personal goals ahead of gaining an automatic place.

    IMO It also is a negative for the European tour itself. With the picks going to two guys who were playing in the US this weekend.

  • Comment number 2.

    On recent form, past Ryder Cup performance, impact on team chemistry or general matchplay record, Clarke gets the pick. On world rankings, Poulter and Casey get it. The world rankings are based on performance over 2 years. Clarke played sparingly in 2007 for obvious reasons. In 2008, Poulter, Casey and Clarke all accumulated a very similar number of points. It's hard to understand Poulter and Casey both getting the nod over Clarke.

  • Comment number 3.

    I feel that Nick Faldo has made a mistake in not selecting Darren Clarke who has been in great form. I can't help thinking that the mistake is in leaving out one of the greatest match players of recent Ryder Cups.

    It appears that Nick Faldo had made his mind up before the Darren Clarke's success in Holland leave Poulter and Casey free to go back to pursue the bucks in the USA and Darren's return to form at the best possible time represented an inconvenient truth for Mr. Faldo. Let's hope that Mr. Poulter's CO2 emissions regarding his own ego don't have a detrimental effect on the team.

  • Comment number 4.

    Why is everyone bleating on about Clarke this Clarke that. In major comps this year Poulter has outshone Clarke in all and performing well in America this year obviously helps, as if you are not aware that is where the cup is taking place. Just because Clarke won 2 weeks ago doesn't make him the next best. I went to watch him at the European Open this year and his golf was poor and his general attitude stunk, while Poulter played good golf and was attitude towards the fans was great. Great choice Faldo (for both) and I'm sure the Ryder Cup will be returning to Europe having Poulter making the winning putt!!

  • Comment number 5.

    Faldo was a great hero of mine but I have to say watching the press conference I was simply not impressed.

    I felt he didnt take stage and his answers were weak and lacked a lot of depth. He didnt convince on his strategy.

    Only 1 vice-captain? He was never going to pick Monty due to the relationship. No matter how grumpy Monty is he is still a legend and take the American's apart.

    I would have liked to see Monty and Clarke.

    I hope I am wrong and we win again. I dont think Faldo can lead.

    Pairings?

    foursomes

    Garcia - Westwood
    Stenson - Karlsson
    Casey - Poulter
    Harrington - Rose

  • Comment number 6.

    I don't think Faldo could have handled this much worse. (And it was telling that the press were stunned by his announcement...)

    Where shall we begin...

    1. His picks are too English, not European. Wait and see Irish papers tomorrow. They will crucify Faldo for omitting Clarke and ignoring Harrington's Monty advice. (And maybe the Swedish papers will have something to say as well for that matter. Petterson is five shots off the lead in the Deutsche)

    2. With no additional vice-captain, he further snubs Clarke and Montie. (Messiah-like Faldo will get around Valhalla via bi-location...) Also he advertises his insecurity alongside senior players. "18 Ryder Cups between between us, 18 Ryder Cups between between us." Keep going on the key messages, attaboy Nick.

    3. Messes up team spirit. Justin Rose comes to Europe for two tournaments to qualify on merit...Poulter manages er, none. Cannot think this unifies the team. Who would you rather partner...?

    4. Someone is telling porkies about when players got notified. Poulter said he got to know "this morning"...This screams that he and Casey got the nod as Faldo said they were "just told".

    5. Faldo contradicted his own criteria for wild card picks. In Clarke he had an experienced match player in form...

    6. He has put a ridiculous amount of pressure on Poulter. He may get villified in the press. I await a first tee shank with dismay.

    In summary, these picks say much more about Faldo's vanity than Poulter or Casey.

    He seems to want to the hero captain to as many English youngsters as possible, not the self-assured 'peer' captain that was Woosnam among many contemporaries his superior.

    What odds are the Americans?

  • Comment number 7.

    I for one want to cme to Faldo's defence. Alot of people calling for the selection of Clarke, and to a much lesser extent Montgomerie, has been based on the idea that Europe needs 'Team Leaders' and 'Talismen.' To be quite frank, if a three time major winner (Harrington), and veterans of previous succesful cup campaigns (Westwood, Jimenez and Garcia) can't act as talismen and that he European team dynamic can be upset by the omssion of one or two players then maybe we ought to ask ourselves if the Europena tema ethic is quite as good as we make it out to be.

    We don't need old warhorses, we need golfers who are going to beat their opponents- plain and simple. If Faldo thinks that the best way of achieving this in a American-based Ryder Cup match, on a course set up by the PGA of America to suit the home team is to pick two US-based players then so be it. I agree Clarke is entitled to feel hard done by after all the effort he went to in the closing weeks. But seome perspective is also needed- his win in The KLM for insance was against quite a weak field (none of the big European names played as their qualification was alreday assured). Darren's record in majors (esecially the US based ones) is not good considering his standing in the game.

    Any other European captain would probably have picked Clarke out of sympathy as much as anything else (as I firmly believe Woosnam did last time). But Faldo never allowed sentiment to cloud his judgement as a player and right now, with the US desperate for a winlike never before, the Europeans need cold, hard logic rather than sentiment.

  • Comment number 8.

    In response to fouldough's 4th point - It would have been "this morning" for Poulter as he is in Boston and not the UK!

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm sorry but no matter what Faldo or Poulter say this was definitely a nod job.That said professional or not,it was Faldo's call.See you in Wales Darren.

  • Comment number 10.

    nit picking of the highest order.
    faldo picked the 'best ' two players available to him,end of story.
    great stuff from faldo.he has done nothing but impress me with a fantastic start to his tnure.
    winning second division titles in scandinavia will be of no use to you when the heat is on in the ryder cup.its world rankings and major performances that should count,and thank god nick faldo is picking the team and not most of the 'fluff' posters on here!

  • Comment number 11.

    It looks Faldo wants to be able to sing "I did it my way" - and hopefully for Europe he'll be able to do it. Also he has been to so many RCs that he might just have an idea about what is needed.

    BUT his ego looks like it has no limits and maybe that is why he likes Poulter - he sees something of himself in him. Also Poulter has the Faldoesque ability to say stupid things to the press. Wait a minute (without wanting to sound like a conspiracy theorist) could Poulter be a lovechild of Faldo?

    If Faldo picked him on the back of the last day of the Open why didn't David Howell get the pick?

    Monty sadly hasn't done enough this year and Faldo will be delighted to have his RC record safe for another few years. However, Clarke should be there for sure.

    We may all be singing along with Faldo in a couple of weeks but just now I'm not loving his style.

  • Comment number 12.

    You see here is the problem...Clarke is a better player than Poulter for sure. Look at their records it tells the story. Also form...Clarke's playing better for sure. Ppl will say well look at their records in Majors this year....well Clarke only played in one and that was the USPGA which I don't recall Poults being too close to winning. I don't wanna be too harsh on Poults...he is a good player and isn't a bad pick as such and shouldn't be villified for the failings of Faldo. However, I think all of the serious golfing pundits are correct...it should have been Clarke not Poults.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Also have to agree about players goin to the states to play so often. I don't really understand it...is money the be all and end all nowadays despite the ridiculous amounts still being offered on the European tour. A lot of players now seem to be using the Euro tour as a spring board which is a real shame particularly given the amount of work done to compete financially with the often boring USPGA tour.

  • Comment number 15.

    Much as I have always admired Nick Faldo as a golfer, I have never had much time for him as a man - vain, shallow and a control freak are the thoughts that come immediately to mind.

    I had no problem with him being declared Captain on the back of his former Ryder Cup success but I think the choice of Poulter over Clark is an absolute abomination.

    I take annual leave to watch the competition every time and barely miss a shot. The arrogance of Faldo will probably lead me to think differently this time.

    Darren, you've been wonderful in every RC I've watched you compete in. I wanted you to be there and it will not be the same without you (nor will the performance given your contribution to the 'dressing room'.

    As for that press conference, god help us if we have to view that smug, self serving attitude until the end of the competition.

    All else said boys - go do it, make us proud (again!)

  • Comment number 16.

    It seems to me that alot of people's gripes against Poulter are based on his decision not to play the Johnnie Walker Championship and play the corresponding PGA Tour event instead. I would like to bring up a point made by Derek Lawrenson earlier this weak (apologies to Derek):

    Ian Poulter lives in the US, and his children are just starting out in school over there. In order to keep them settled he needs to retain his PGA Tour card, which means he must play in a minimum of 15 events on the PGA Tour. The easiest way for him to do this was to play the Deutsche Bank Championship this week. So yes, it is about the money, but also about his family's lives. Okay, I know it's not exactly a great hardship, but I still don't blame him. It's also worth pointing out that had he travelled to Scotland he still couldn't have made the team on merit- all the players he could have deposed did enough to keep him out the picture.

  • Comment number 17.

    Couldnt agree more with the comments about the arrogance of Faldo. There is a golfing argument for picking Poulter and Casey, but he gave the game away in regards to his whole attitude when he said he wouldnt be picking any more vice captains for "His Team" and he would be solely in charge. Its the European Team, and never has been the property of the captain. You would never have heard Jacklin or Gallacher using the phrase " My Team" He obviously doesnt want there to be too many big personalities in the team, so Darren Clarke was never going to get a captains pick. And the idea of Montgomery getting one was never in the hunt. Anyone that thinks so, doesnt either know, or understand Faldo. The reason he was the great golfer that he was, was due to the fact that he was completely selfish and self obsessed, and no-one else mattered other than the power and glory of him.
    I only hope I'm wrong, but I fear this will lead to a split team, with the Faldo clique, and the rest. I fear a thumping now. 6/5 United States looks a great investment now, unfortunately

  • Comment number 18.


    At the end of the day, Faldo's captaincy- Faldo's way.
    If he fails to win then he won't go down with his peers like Seve, Woosnam or Torrance.

    There's been too much of Darren Clarke bandwagen in the last couple of weeks because of a victory in Holland.
    As someone already stated it was not a top quality field for that event and Clarke has had his problems with consistency this season.
    He would have been behind Poulter and Pettersen in my book.
    I personally would have gone for Carl Pettersen as he's won on the PGA Tour, playing well, plays over there so a US based Ryder Cup would have been perfect for him but Faldo was never going to pick him.
    Poulter at the end of the day is world no 23 and that has to count for something but I don't think his actions have helped his cause nor the public perception that Nick Faldo is his mate.

  • Comment number 19.

    i think its a good call with the ryder cup wildcards
    the us tour is harder than the european one and poulter and casey have improved as players as a result of playing on it, am confident we will win the cup again and that pouletr and casey will be good point scorers

  • Comment number 20.

    on what basis do you judge the US tour to be harder than the European tour?

  • Comment number 21.

    of the current top 10 in the world, 8 play on the US tour therefore it is a higher standard and harder to win

    quality of golf courses is also better, greens at gleneagles this week were a joke, just ask lee westwood

  • Comment number 22.

    The world's top ranked players play in the states because they get the most money from the tournaments there. The courses played on the European Tour are generally a much greater all round test that those played in the US which are generally grip it and rip it courses leaving putting as the deciding factor week after week. Granted the greens this week at Gleneagles were not up to standard but that is why there has been so much made of it...because they are normally very high quality.

    Also, how can you be shown to improve if you haven't won on the US tour. Casey is a good case for this. He hasn't won this year anywhere and he has played in both Europe and the States. Yet over the past few years, when he was playing mainly on the European tour, he won many tournaments, including the World Matchplay which includes all the best players who can bother themselves to play. Therefore how are you justifying this improvement?

  • Comment number 23.

    In my opinion over the last few weeks Clarke (and Justin Rose) have shown how much it means to play in the Ryder cup whereas Poulter and Casey appear to have put personal goals ahead of gaining an automatic place.

    --------

    Poulter hd to finish 3rd in the Euro tournament to qualify, 4th in the US one, why is it wrong for him to try the more likely option?

    In actual fact it didnt matter anyway as even winning the event he could not have qualified due to others results, which was always the most likely outcome regardless of whee he finished.


    In an ideal world Clarke oulter AND casey would all play (along with Carl Petterson) but thats not how it works and when you can only pick two the right two have been picked.

    Persoanlly I dont see why the US captain should have 4 wildcards and Faldo only 2.

  • Comment number 24.

    Faldo could have picked any of the candidates mentioned and the result will be the same, another win for Europe. The exception is Monty, who has been wonderful in the past but is just not good enough any more.

    The Ryder Cup has been over for some time as a serious competition for many reasons and Europe will keep winning. My reasons are: -
    1. Europe has better players. Many of them spend their University years in the USA playing all over the states in NCAA (college golf). As Pros they then play all over the world in the European and US PGA tournaments. They are more rounded and can play on any course.
    2. US Players stay mostly in the US (for money reasons) and so are less adaptable.
    3. The money focus has made most US Golfers less inspired by the Ryder Cup, especially the younger ones. Note the comments made this year, for example ‘the Ryder Cup is slavery’. Does Europe need to fear for the future if others ‘do a Poulter’?
    4. US golf fans are much less motivated than European, especially Brits. The fanaticism in Europe is not remotely paralleled in the USA. US Players can get excited and also the beer-sodden fans at the tournament itself, but not most others. Brookline 17th green on Sunday in 1999 was thankfully a disgusting exception.
    5. This is just another exhibition tournament with whacky rules for most in the USA, especially now that the Fedex cup has turned the ‘post-major’ season into a money monster. Poulter is just the beginning, so in a few years Europe will stop caring, win or lose.

    In short, the Ryder Cup is like the FA Cup. A one great event rendered an also-ran by other competitions.

  • Comment number 25.

    Wow - Faldo went with two English lads - what a surprise!!!

    So much for it being a European team, or even a British and Irish team, or even a Britsh team.

    Surely "Big D" deserved the call up?

  • Comment number 26.

    My views on this are as follows:

    1) I personally would have picked Clarke instead of Poulter, but it was a close call and I can see why Faldo chose who he chose.

    2) I think Europe limits its ability to have the best team by only having 2 picks. In the Jacklin era we had at least 3 picks and it definitely benefited the team. Why are we potentially shooting ourselves in the foot now?

    3) In some ways the competition needs an American win this year to get the US public behind it again. However, I still hope for a Europe victory.

    4) I think the time has come to change the format a bit. As a minimum I would have 5 or 6 rather than 4 foursomes/fourballs on the first 2 days, and also look at starting the competition on Thursday (I'm amazed they haven't done this already thinking about the $s). How about 6 greensomes on Thursday, 6 fourballs on Friday, 4 foursomes and 4 fourballs on Saturday, and 12 singles on Sunday? This has the benefit of a) not forcing some players to play 5 rounds in 3 days, and b) making sure all 12 players play at least 3 times during the competition, and c) they make more money out of ticket sales etc.

  • Comment number 27.

    "Clarke has done nothing all year"

    Maybe the thinking behind this statement is of the same quality as your other post Glasgow-Don and that's why it was taken off.

    Poulter's world ranking, which a lot of people are clinging to as justification for his inclusion, owes a lot to his finish at the Open in the summer. The plain and simple fact is the world ranking takes little account of recent form and Poulter's has been poor. His poor form has been in a field containing his future Ryder Cup opponents. You'll find Poulter at 89th in the current FedEx standings and Casey at 38, though both will fall because they missed the cut in the latest playoff tournament. Whatever the final FedEx standings, Casey has consistently outplayed Poulter recently and has a strong Ryder Cup record, so that is a strong argument in his favour.

    As far as Darren Clarke is concerned, he is a popular player with his colleagues and Poulter isn't. He has won twice this year, Poulter hasn't. Clarke's world ranking reflects the greater emphasis he placed on his family, but, when it came to the time of reckoning, he won a tournament and Poulter missed two cuts.

    I see no reasonable argument for Poulter's inclusion, but then Faldo wouldn't be Faldo if he employed logic and avoided controversy, would he?

  • Comment number 28.

    Just to clear up some of the misinformation on this thread..

    1. Poulter saying he found out in the morning does not prove he was given the nod - it was orning in the states.

    2. Of course the US tour is stronger.. not because of USA vs Europe but because of Singh, Els, Mickelson, Garcia and many more..

    3. The people calling for Monty are people who must follow golf once every 2 years.. if he had been picked then you wouldn't have many of us discussing how Clarke was hard done to but instead it'd be Clarke, Poulter, Pettersson, Kaymer and half a dozen others too.

    In general terms, I think it could be a mistake to pick Poulter because it might.. I repeat might.. affect morale. Clarke would have been a huge boost to the squad. However, those arguing in pure golfing terms need to get a grip. There is very little between the two players and Poulter would be the highest ranked eligible player on either side excluded had he not been selected. Some of the arguments seem motivated by short-sighted prejudices to do with his character.

    Ultimately, a questionable call.. but far from a scandalous one.

  • Comment number 29.

    I think it's a joke that some people think that Faldo was right in picking Poulter over Clarke. Comments of Clarke getting a sympathy vote last time out is so unfair. Clarke proved himself last time out under some unbelievable pressure and bonded the whole team together in a way that proved a winning formula in the end.
    Clarke is one of the most popular players on both the European and US Tours and has proven to be one of the best at matchplay with his regular pairings with Westwood. The fact that some of the leading members of the team were hoping that he'd be playing only add further proof that Clarke should be there rather than Poulter.
    With regards to Poulter or Casey not playing at Gleaneagles this weekend, I think it shows a complete lack of for both the Ryder Cup selection process and the other players trying to get into that team. Justin Rose would clearly admit that he prefers playing in the US but over the last while he has made a major effort to ensure his automatic selection in the team. I believe that by Poulter deciding to "miss the cut" in the US instead of playing in Gleneagles, showed a cockyness that we knew he already had but that will not appeal to his team-mates.
    Though, I suppose at the end of the day we shouldn't be too surprised. Faldo was always going to be going for some of his homeboys rather than a team player like Clarke. Just as well some of the Europeans managed to qualify automatically.

  • Comment number 30.

    Couldn't agree more with every word from Ally Gory.

    Great article with the properly reasoned argument for Clarke's inclusion at the expense of Big Time Charlie (Poulter).

  • Comment number 31.

    Never mind about Clarke, I'm sure he'll be fine ... but what about Montgomerie?

    Extremely worrying that Colin had his phone on voice mail when Nick called to deliver the bad news. That sounds to me like a man struggling to deal with what's happened. Maybe even pretending that it hasn't happened.

    I hope that Monty doesn't go into a tailspin because of this ... the last thing that European golf needs is a Paul Gascoigne type scenario.

  • Comment number 32.

    falso sorry faldo managed to score a spectacular own goal with that pick

    one thing that the europe team had over USA was a team ethic which beat the US , better on paper, mentality

    picking your pet player as a wild card when he showed such arrogance in not even attending the final chance to get their on merit shows remarkable bad judgement on faldo's part

    Monty did not deserve a wild card based on form but many others based on form, record and willingness to go the extra mile did!

  • Comment number 33.

    It is quite obvious to me that Faldo's choice of Poulter over Clarke is him picking someone with whom he gets on, rather than someone who would improve his team.

    Clarke would be in most people's team of 6, let alone team of 12. His attitude and presence mean so much more in a team game than purely world ranking points (which it seems that everyone agrees are slightly flawed anyway).

    Poulter is arrogant and selfish. His performances in the upcoming battle will be all about him, and no-one else. For the record, he could have played his 15th tournament is the US in October.. if he cared at all about the Ryder Cup.

    Poulter is good player, but the European Team is certainly weakened with him in it. I would have chosen anyone but him, regardless of the merits of Clarke.

    I am neither Irish nor sentimental, but Faldo has got this one badly wrong. I only hope it will prove irrelevant, as the rest of the team should be able to pull it off on their own.

  • Comment number 34.

    @23
    Poulter hd to finish 3rd in the Euro tournament to qualify, 4th in the US one, why is it wrong for him to try the more likely option?

    ---------

    Incorrect. The US based Fed-Ex cup carries no points for the Ryder cup whatsoever. Poulter put this ahead of the Johnie Walker purely for Dollar$.

    The whole point of the captains pick is that you go with something other than stats, you go with your gut and Clarke is coming into good form.

    Poulter has won nothing this season, Darren has got 2 cups in the bag. Poulter has missed the cut a few outings on the spin now.

    Faldo is playing to a different form guide than the rest of us. Poor choices IMO.
    Already, he is showing himself to be a poor captain.

  • Comment number 35.

    Firstly I think there is a questionmark over when the final decision was made on the picks and Faldo could not have been more vague when asked.

    The press conference itself was an opportunity for Faldo to endear himself to all concerned but as usual he doesn't care about that. I firmly believe that his picks have been decided for some months and he did nothing to convince me otherwise.

    As I said last week Poulter is a talented golfer but the problem is down to the fact he chose not to play at Gleneagles. Had he made the effort to come across and try to qualify and had failed most would be more accepting of his inclusion. The fact that he didn't suggests that he was given the nod before and it really doesn't matter what both he and Faldo say on that, people will make up their own minds.

    The fact that the RC is being played in the US is a factor but picking 2 Englishmen who are based in the US where Faldo lives and works has done Faldo no favours.

    I am inclined to agree with the previous comment on a USA win, the RC needs it as there is danger that the President's Cup may become more important.

    Having said that all the best to the European team, Poults - you have to prove a lot of people wrong !!

  • Comment number 36.

    I think the criticism on Poulter is little unfair – a good player and a showman – he is good for the sport and comes across well in interviews – albeit not the sharpest tool in the box!!

    Any criticism should be directed squarely at Faldo.

    I would have 2 particular criticisms of Faldo.

    1. He said months ago that he would make his picks on merit and form – clearly he has not done this.
    2. Secondly – Faldo could have prevented the whole debacle by MAKING Poulter go to Scotland last week. I have no doubt that if he had intervened – which, as the captain is surely within his rights, then the public and players would not be as perplexed by the decision to pick Poulter. I think most people would have accepted the decision even if Poulter had not made the cut at Gleneagles ss long as he had been there as it would have showed a commitment to the cause. The decision not to go - has left a bad taste in the mouth.

    The public, Gallagher et al have called for Clarke for very good reasons – past experience etc. - Anyhow – the decision has been made…C’mon Europe.

  • Comment number 37.

    Personally I think he has made a big faux pas picking Poulter. I like him as a player and would be more than happy to see him in the team, but not ahead of DC.

    Anyway time to move on.

    The team has been picked; time to stop the in-fighting and time to focus on spanking the Yanks!

  • Comment number 38.

    Enough already.

    No amount of waffliing is going to change anything

    The Captain gets two picks. He has picked two players

    End of.

  • Comment number 39.

    Come on guys. Let's not lose sight of what's going on here.

    There are two Captains picks! Yes, that's right, they are Captains picks....Nick gets to choose who he wants. It's not based on any set criteria...you don't have to abandon the US and play Euro events....you just have to be picked by Nick Faldo.

    To guarantee a spot, you have to qualify! As much as i'd love to have seen Darren compete again, he didn't do that. We can all argue that our picks would be different, but it matters not a jot. Casey and Poulter were the Captains picks....and unless we go win a few majors and put ourselves forward for Captaincy, we don't get to choose!

  • Comment number 40.

    Still struggling to understand this pompous pick by an even more pompous captain.

    In the cold light of day there is not a single justification for picking David Daft and His Incredible Magic Trousers ahead of Darren Clarke.

    I've tried all morning but can't think of any!

    Help please!

  • Comment number 41.

    "Form in the majors counts" (Faldo)

    Wasn't that Ian Poulter that we all saw hacking his way around the course at Augusta this year........

  • Comment number 42.

    I was a junior member of WGCGC with Faldo years ago. He wasn't known for his brain then and I see things haven't changed in regard to giving Clarke a place in the team.

    Under any set of criteria Clarke is the better man. Better team player, better player, more experienced and all round top Ryder cup member with some great form going into it.

    Anyhow as I say Faldo was never the greatest student of mankind or of anything else to be honest so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I just hope his team can bring him through this.

  • Comment number 43.

    Anyone remember the fact that on his last (and only) Ryder Cup outing Poulter actaully hit the winning putt, not Monty- and lost his fourball game playing alongside, er, Darren Clarke. He'll probably be all right - it's a tight call, given their recent for - consistent mediocrity by Clarke or fitful brilliance by Poulter. There's an element of obvious sympathy for Clarke, and when the charisma vortex that is Faldo fails to pick him it the story grow: but it feels as if the press are already looking for Poulter and Faldo to fail and fall victims of their hubris. That's not ideal at this early point.

  • Comment number 44.

    Faldo is the greatest golfer ever produced in Britain..six majors back that up...

    his choices are perfectly understandable...Casey and Poulter are the two highest world ranked players who did not automatically qualify for the team(leaving aside the injured Luke Donald)..both are in top 35 of those rankings...

    the world rankings are based on two years worth of form and are used as the basis for entry to many events including all 4 majors to some degree.....they are both higher ranked than some automatic qualifiers...

    He is the captain...it's his call....for what it's worth I think he's probably right..he can hardly be criticsed for picking the two best players available to him who hadn't already made the team..

    ..Montgomerie is a busted flush.....Clarke is possibly slightly unlucky...could argue that Carl Petterson deserved a shout...winner on US tour recently...

    anyone with any complaints about not getting wildcard...tough...just go away and Shut UP........you had a year to qualify automatically...Oliver Wilson managed it...without even winning a tournament.

    Let's look at this another way.....if you were asked to sit and pick a 12 man team for Europe.....no automatic qualifiers... start with a clean sheet...

    who would your 12 be????

    surely you would have Poulter in it...no 23 in teh world...9th highest ranked European...don't think there is any question about that...his wild card choice is unarguable...

    he was 8th on the World points list..and 12th on the Money List from which the 10 automatic picks were chosen...

    Casey is slightly different...others might be aggrieved....Kaymer for one

  • Comment number 45.

    Faldo's undoubted position as best golfer ever produced by the UK does not necessarily accord with his being a good manager or captain. His personality (a natural loner) is not well suited to a team event like this no matter that his act as grand old man of British golf seems to be working for now.

    Clarke let it not be forgotten was hardly able to play golf last year and his activity has been curtailed by looking after his family. He has only able to play "properly" it seems this year during which time he has won two tournaments which is, if memory serves me, two more than Poulter.

  • Comment number 46.

    We have some kind of argument like this every Ryder Cup. Last time it was why DC was picked ahead of Thomas Bjorn, who had much the better record. Bjorn was apoplectic about it, if you recall. Woosie's judgement then was correct as the results showed.
    Faldo is well-placed to understand how Darren must be feeling today - he was omitted from Mark James' team in 1999. In retrospect, James' judgement then was probably wrong.
    The old order changes and no-one gets in forever on past glories and historical performances. Otherwise, we'd still have Christy O'Connor (senior) and Brian Barnes in the team - they could give it some when the chips were down!
    It was a judgement call and a very tight one indeed. That he made the less popular choice indicates one thing - Faldo is able to make decisions that he knows may not be well accepted. Is that a good or a bad thing? In the past, it has worked for him. We shall see - but I don't think anyone can argue protege pick, not with Dougherty in the running. If he'd got the nod then I think there would have been cause for complaint.
    Forumguy (post 34) - the FedEx Cup does count towards Ryder Cup rankings, through the World Rankings. Poulter probably judged he had a better chance of making the team automatically through the World list - and he was probably right. A 4th would have done it. He missed the cut, which is a tad unfortunate on such a high-profile weekend...
    Anyway, go Europe!

  • Comment number 47.

    Once again the great british sporting public knock the greatest golfer we've ever had. Just imagine yourself having to make that final decision. I myself thought Darren would be picked, Poulter will not let anyone down so now is the time to get behind them and bring it home. Not the time to express more negatives.
    Good luck to Nick and the boys, I'll be cheering all the way.

  • Comment number 48.

    Perfectly logical, these picks from Faldo, but with potentially unpleasant consequences ... in particular, I fear the impact on Monty.

    Surely, Nick can find a non playing role for Colin (vice captain perhaps?) so that he goes to Valhalla ... otherwise, a European Ryder Cup legend (still only in his mid forties) is condemned to watch at home on the TV.

    That can't be right.

  • Comment number 49.

    I would have picked Poulter and Clarke. But I can see why Nick has gone for Casey and Poulter. He has mentioned their performances in the "majors", Monty (who was never in the picture really?) and Clarke haven't perfored in any of this years. But I think the key to his picks is the location of the venue. Poults and Casey are regulars on the PGA Tour, they will be primed to play on the style of course, both Clarke and Monty haven't ventured over the pond.
    If the venue was in Europe, I think Clarke would have been a cert.

    I like the look of our team, we have some real competitors with the brash attitude and arrogance needed. Poults and McDowell in particular. But we also have some really excellent players Paddy, Sergio and Westy are all at the top of their game, and with a good mix of rookies...........

    I think it will be tough, but can see us winning by a couple of points.

  • Comment number 50.

    Nick Faldo has done what was necessary, it was time for the old gaurd to move on, we can't relie on Monty and Clarke forever, its time to blood in the young guys. Its a brave move for Faldo, which could see Europe lose the cup, but will benifit us in the long term future.

    we can't be emotional about Clarke and monty has not been playing well, maybe this disappointment will get back to thier fomer playing past and will see them in 2 years time.

  • Comment number 51.

    Faldo said he was going to pick on current form then goes for someone who hasnt shot under 70 for weeks. Darren has a fantastic record in the Ryder cup and shot 4 under 70 rounds when winning his latest title.

    For me the biggest clanger wasnt him picking Poulter but the nutcases who decided to put Faldo in as captain. He has always been contrversial and always will be because it puts Nick Faldos name in the newspapers. I never thought i would say this but i almost want the yanks to win.

  • Comment number 52.

    My first reaction was one of disappointment and surprise when Poulter was picked. The former remains this morning, the latter vanished during a weak press conference.

    Faldo was a great champion, through single mindedness; he was never a team man so it should not have surprised me that he was unable to take criticism yesterday.

    Did you notice the narrowing of the eyes when a journalist pointed out that Poulter has not had a competitive round below 67 since January? That was a dead giveaway.

    Faldo doesn't like criticism, is not good at responding to others' views and I suspect Poulter was given the nod in advance despite Faldo's posturing yesterday.

    For once i fear the Americans will have an advantage in team spirit (not having Woods may help that too) and recent Ryder Cups have shown how crucial a part that plays, especially when matches leave the 15th with no more than one hole in them; how often did Europe pull it out?

    Of course Faldo and Poulter can bite back as the stats at the end of the week will prove my fears right or wrong. I hope they do but I feel the omission of characters such as Clarke (and arguably Monty) will detract, but it will leave dictator Faldo clear to exercise his control, for better or worse.

    My final thought is that I would have considered Carl Petterrson, a recent winner Stateside who has run into very impressive form. The U.S. commentators on this week's Fedex Cup felt he was more of a contender than Monty and I tended to agree with them.

  • Comment number 53.

    Jim 62 Absolue tosh mate.

    Poulter and Casey missed the cut at The Deutsche.

    Neither have won a tournament this season.
    Casey last won 50 tournaments ago, Poulter 22 events ago, somewhere in Japan. Casey gets in on his matchplay record.

    Poulter aint shot lower than 67 since January this year, where he had his 'only' other top 10 finish.

    Last time Poulter played Gleneagles in 2003 he shot 83 + 73. There's your reason for him not playing last weekend. Didn't want to undermine Faldo's pick, which i believe had already been made.

    Faldo's ego has to be bigger than everyone elses, no room for a big character like Clarke. Plenty of room for his mate Poulter.

    Clarke moved up 200 places in the rankings without the benefit of playing in the majors, winning 2 tourneys on the way. Poulter???

    If the pick was on form as Faldo said it would be, Clarke's nailed on.

    Faldo lacks depth, always has and proved this at yesterday's press conference

  • Comment number 54.

    I think a lot of you are missing the point.

    When it comes down to the big stage, Ian Poulter will not let Europe down.

    Form is temporary.

    Golfers can shoot 61 on day 1 - 76 the following day! Its so up and down that you can always throw a stat in to back up something!!! Vijay Singh missed 50 % of his putts form 4-8 ft a few weeks ago and won.

    All the stats count for nothing, matchplay is one hole at a time.

    You don't need to shoot 67 in the Ryder Cup. You need to be confident, but also to play your opponent, play the aggresive shots at the right time. I think Poults style of play, (back 9 The Open, was high high pressure in exceptionally difficult conditions, he played to win, he played every shot like it mattered and nearly pulled it off) shows he has the game plus his time on PGA Tour is why he was picked ahead of Clarke.

    Nick has made his mind up, he likes Poults attitude.

    It doesn't really matter, the team has been picked and I for one will be backing Poults to shine.

  • Comment number 55.

    I am surprised at the reaction to Faldo's wildcard selections, particularly with those who question whether he should have picked players who play in the US at the expense of the European Tour.

    The last time I checked, the Ryder Cup was being played in America - picking the guys who are most comfortable playing there makes perfect sense to me.

    Casey was a gimme, so to speak, and Poulter impressed at the biggest tournament Faldo watched him at - I really don't see how anyone can query his selection.

    Clarke was perhaps unlucky, but that's sport. He failed to qualify automatically and left it a little late to find form this year. It seems fair enough to leave him out to me.

  • Comment number 56.

    Very surprised Darren Clarke didn't make it. Superb Ryder Cup record, excellent recent form when it mattered with 2 wins, and very very popular in the locker room.

    I am sure that team members will privately feel that Poulet should have tried to qualify by right for the sake of the team which would have left Faldo with an additional pick (Justin Rose changed his plans to secure qualification).

    I am not convinced about Poulet - big mouth, big ego and relatively modest professional record. Of course, he may prove me wrong as he is fiercely determined now he is on the team, but I remain unconvinced.

    The cornerstone of Europe's success over the last 25 years has been the togetherness that the USA have just failed to match. Europe find it quite natural, Americans have to try and force the team ethic and it hasn't really worked. This decision by Faldo is somewhat at odds with recent strategy and time will tell if it is an inspired pick or otherwise.

    As a player, Faldo remains my no 1 hero because of his single minded approach in taking on and beating the Americans and getting to world no 1 with 6 majors. I remain unconvinced however that he has the real leadership qualities to succed as team captain, I hope I am wrong.

  • Comment number 57.

    There are a number of people backing Faldo in this whole affair but I would like to point out that because Faldo was a great player does not mean he will be a great manager of the team. In fact it is quite often the reverse. Tiger is a great player but is rubbish playing in a team as his ryder cup record demonstrates. I think the way he has handled the whole affair has been poor and loaded pressure onto Poulter. Not sure he should have picked Clarke, but surely if he was thinking of picking Poulter in the team, he should have had a quiet word with him (everyone seems to think he had a quiet word anyway) and told him to get himself up to Gleneagles and play. that would have made his choice so much less controversial.

  • Comment number 58.

    Kendrick/robertscross you are missing the point Faldo ranted on about current form being his highest priority (mainly so he could justifiable dump Montgomery) then went completely against his own stated policy by picking Poulter over Clarke. Yes Clarke should have qualified over the year ,and he isnt complaining ,but Poulter should have attempted to qualify by right last week but didnt have the bottle and would have given Faldo a tougher time picking him if he did poorly at GLeneagles.

    This is Faldo being Faldo, the worst pick anyone could make when putting someone in charge on a team and trying to build morale.

    Torrence, Woosnam, Ballesteros, even Langer ended up being one of the boys. Can you envisage Faldo joining everyone for a pre tournement get together and either boring the pants off everyone or talkiing about himself for 2 hours.

  • Comment number 59.

    Can people stop using the word 'unlucky' with Clarke's non selection. He was shafted.
    He did not leave it too late to show form, he won in May and two weeks ago - thats 2 more wins that Casey and Showpony combined.
    Poulter 'attitude' is hopeless, he did not have the nerve to try and qualify by right last weekend. He talks a good game but has delivered nothing.
    How can Poulter be picked for his American experience when he has failed miserably this year to get any sort of decent finish.
    Faldo's pick of Poulter is an insult to all European tour professionals.

  • Comment number 60.

    Good bit of banter - which is all good!!

    How important is the Captains role?
    10 of the 12 pick themselves. He's picked the 2 highest ranked palyers in the world not in the team, all he needs to do is get the pairings right, which isn't that hard as a lot of the guys are friends and spend a lot of time together anyway.

    A lot of people are having a pop at Nick, just like our opinions on here are different, each captain is different. There is no specific way to get the best out of your team. Some players respond to the arm around the shoulder. Others will want instructions, but the modern day golfer is very much an individual lifestyle, they all know how to play. The buck rests with you, so the guys guided by Nick will need to be independant and help each other as well, thats another side to being the captain encouraging others to help and guide.

    I am certain of one thing, Nick Faldo has earned the respect of the all the players. He might have been single minded as a player - but you can see all of the players want to play for "his " team, and he will bring them together for sure.

    I have no doubt that although very different to all the other captains mentioned, he will be just as successful.

    Lets back the guys, the team is picked and when Poults is stood over a 15ft putt for the win. He'll make it!!

  • Comment number 61.

    Having had a chance to 'sleep on it', I am now even more convinced that Darren Clarke and Colin Montgomerie should be on the 2008 Ryder Cup team.
    The picks are there to compliment those who have qualified with balance and experience. Clarke has form, and good form at that along with experience. Montgomerie, although not in the best of form, also comes loaded with experience, particularly in match play. As we know, the mental elements within a player are tested to their fullest in the Ryder Cup pressure cooker atmosphere and that begins on the first tee. No Clarke means no pairing of Westwood / Clarke. These two have been practically impossible to 'shake off' over the years and the Americans will breathe a sigh of relief. No Montgomerie will also lighten the American burden. In matchplay, and particularly Ryder Cups, one cannot leave the door ajar for the opponent to get back in. Europe, over the last decade have been supreme in closing the door, bolting it and locking it tight. The door however is now ajar for an American revival, and Azinger and his men will be well aware of it.
    Faldo has to be respected for his views and his picks give an opportunity to two fine young players who did not play their way onto the team. That said, one must select a team to take hold of the tournament and close it out. This Europe side will be tested to the full.

  • Comment number 62.

    The captains role is massive. He sets the tone for everything.

    Faldo has a fantistic individual golfing record but he is not a leader of men. I'm sure he would love 12 malleable Ian Poulters in his team but he has to show flexibility in deailing with an array or different characters In order to get the best result. Something that he has not shown form with.

    I'm very worried that Faldo has created a team within a team and its going to weaken the great bond that all the recent Ryder cup teams have had. There is no way the European tour players can be comfortable with Faldo's selection policy and his mumbling attempts to justify his decisions - not just about players but also about dispensing with a second vice captain. He has managed to alienate and insult a lot of Ryder cup legends and its still 3 weeks to the event! What is he going to be like when the pressure is on.


    Still though I reckon the team is so strong when compared to the US lineup (regardless of their wildcards) that we should still win by a couple of points. Even Faldo's legendary poor people skills cant screw this one up.... can they...

  • Comment number 63.

    Clarke or Poulter? Lot of talk about Majors. Neither has won one. Next level down is a WGC event. Other than Tiger, only one player in the world has won more than one of these. Who is it? Clue: Poulter hasn't won any.

  • Comment number 64.

    Monty / Clarke = 0 Majors.

    Lets stop living in the golfing past.....

  • Comment number 65.

    Faldo need another Vice captin badly.

    Harrington, Westwood, Garcia, Jiminez and Karlsson are all RC pro's who will not go for Faldo's DJ's and drums in the dressing room antics (What a clown). Just picture it, it'll be just like the Wimbledon crazy gang days all over again, How about getting John Fahanu as VC.

    From yesterdays press conference Ollie already looks like he has little more than a shadow role and is not involved in any of the decisions. It would be good if the players had someone sane to talk to.

  • Comment number 66.

    I am lost as to the omission of Clarke. Faldo say he is a stats man. Clarke has scored as many world ranking points as IP in the last year, he is above him in the orderf of merit. he has won twice this year. had he played in all the majors, WGCs he would have qaulified. HIs form last year has been well documented. 32 players at this weeks event were polled as to their selection - 29 said Clarke and 1 said Poulter - need I go on. USA are up already. Faldo's press conference was a disaster. The body language between Faldo and Olazabal does not bode well. His attempt at humour (Del BOy impersonation) was pathetic and his contempt for Monty was evident

  • Comment number 67.

    Casey/ Poulter = 0 majors.

    Lets stop posting irrelevant stats

  • Comment number 68.

    I suspect that Faldo will have every opportunity to screw this one up. Hope he doesn't but his past abilities to manage anything apart from himself would seem something of an impediment.

    Oh and by the way robertscross I am not aware that Poulter or Casey have won many majors between them. Actually I am not sure they have exactly shone in the "minors", at least not recently.

    Anyhow despite Faldo itis I hope that Europe do win.

  • Comment number 69.

    Just replying to another stat statment!

    I'm all for ignoring the stats my man!

  • Comment number 70.

    Azinger must be licking his lips at the moment. I bet he was out celebrating last night thanks to the arrogance of Faldo.

    Over the last 10 Ryder cups what has been the main reason for our success apart from the inclusion of our Europeans neighbours has been the 'TEAM SPIRIT’. Everyone fighting for the team and not themselves.

    As a captain you lead by example and what faldo has done now is sent out a message to his players that you should look out for yourself and not the team. Any TEAM manager worth his salt would have talked with his senior players before making such a major decision such as his picks. I not saying he needed to take their advice but thanks to Faldos arrogance and the fact he knew they would all have recommended Clarke he showed a major weakness. It will be very interesting to see what happens if things start badly in the states. I bet he ends up blaming EVERYONE and EVERYTHING to try to save face.

    This really hurts me to say but for the first time ever I won't mind if the USA win. I think this is the only way of getting across to the European Tour to pick future captains who are team players and not out for themselves just like Mr Faldo.

  • Comment number 71.

    I am just thinking about how Poulter will act at the Ryder Cup. He will be a selfish teammate, a graceless winner, and a sore loser. He has talent, but no class. He belongs on a football terrace.

    There is no better advert for golf and character than Darren Clarke. I feel for him, but he is made of bigger stuff.

    Being a fair person, I think there has been a massive injustice perpetrated against Dazza.

  • Comment number 72.

    helimax, I suggest you have a look at Casey's results since the end of June. Yes, he hasn't won anything, but he's finished high up the leaderboard in some fairly testing tournaments, including 8th at the WGC Bridgestone, 15th at the US PGA and 7th at the Wyndham. That's not too shabby for someone who putts as well as me.

  • Comment number 73.


    I cant bring myself to look for an American win but I want Faldo and Poulter to be shown up for the frauds that they are. Their lies in the last couple of weeks have been very distasteful.

  • Comment number 74.

    I have always feared for Europe and the ryder cup after Captain Faldo was picked. All my fears have been confirmed. Can some one with a bit of sense please explain what has just happened. Faldo mentioned caseys world matchplay win - who has won the WGc matchplay - a proper tournamant not a mickey mouse spnsor invitation.
    Who has taken on tiger, Duval (in his prime), Phil and all the rest and came out victorious and may i add magnanimous at all times.
    Can't see IP being that

  • Comment number 75.

    Unbelievable, truly unbelievable!! No not Faldo’s picks but the whinging response from the majority on this blog!!

    Hello!! The term WILD CARD implies the fact that the Captain can pick whoever he pleases! He could have chosen Nick Dougherty and Oliver Fisher if he so wished, then you would realy have had something to talk about!

    I have greater faith in Faldo doing what HE thinks is right rather than what he thinks everyone else expects, after all it worked for his six majors!

    There was a case for several players to be picked – in my view Ross Fisher, Martin Kymer both won big tournaments this year and just came up slightly shy.

    In reality with four debutants in the side Faldo was never going to pick un-capped players. I also think that Faldo very much had pairings in mind and is likely to put Poulter with his good friend Rose, which no one can say would not be a fantastic pairing. Ok Clarke and Westwood have always done well but Westwood also plays well with Garcia, besides as a senior player Westwood will in all likelihood be paired with one of the new boys in the four balls.

    Is Faldo arrogant – Yes, does he want to be in sole control – Yes! BUT this is Nick Faldo we’re talking about here I wouldn’t expect, or trust, anything less, at least he’s not going to trying to tell players how to play a shot they’re about to hit, like Seve did!!

    Faldo is a man in control of his emotions, who has a plan in mind which he’s working to – in his playing days that usually meant everyone else was playing for the runners up prise!!

  • Comment number 76.

    I think that picking poulter was the right decision if think if there was a wrong decision its picking paul casey i think he has been dredful recently. I also think that even if a player is out of form like monty I still think that thats no excuse not to pick him. In recent ryder cups monty knows how to rattle the american's he knows how to get to them and I think thats poulters style for me the 2 picks would have been Poulter and Clarkey

  • Comment number 77.

    Not entirely sure why everyone focuses on the Poulter pick as the controversial one - Casey's reputation far exceeds his performances in any big tournaments, at least poulter showed up well in the British Open

  • Comment number 78.

    A few people on here have been saying that if Poulter finished 4th in the Fed-Ex he would have qualified through the world list.

    Is this true? Surely the deadline was Sunday night and that tournament finishes today?

  • Comment number 79.

    I think that when the ' dust has settled ' over the wild card picks, the 'Team' will listen to their Captain and the senior players , then start the process of focusing on again winning this years Ryder Cup.
    The history of golf and the Cup is full of controversial decisions and players, many didn't see eye to eye, but most perform to their highest level when representing their team.
    I don't think Poulter will let down 'anyone' and maybe his team mates see him as 'flaky' , but I am sure all acknowledge he has 'game '.

    I think Faldo will continue to surprise, but personally believe he will deliver, as he did in his prime - maybe the ' favourites' .... Europe will now be better prepared and more focused !?

  • Comment number 80.

    It doesn't matter how the team is picked.

    Please please please, lets get behind the boys, no matter what our thoughts are.

  • Comment number 81.

    Ally Gory is right. Poulter has finished high up in a few tournaments. But he is simply not as good a golfer as Clarke and he is simply not as good a member of the team as Clarke would have been. A past comment on the Westwood/Clarke team was perceptive. That was a great combination.

    Did Faldo really do Del boy? Missed that; bet it was excrutiating.

  • Comment number 82.

    number785 thanks for condescending to add your comments.

    As you obviously haven't quite grasped the purpose of this page, this blog invites people to post their views on the subject discussed, which is what has happened. I'm pretty sure most of us grasp the captain's picks procedure and, just as Faldo is free to choose who he likes, so we are free to voice our bafflement. You may have faith in Faldo, but that doesn't make those of us who disagree with you wrong.

  • Comment number 83.

    Enough is enough - We have the team so lets get on with what matters most ie Another Win.

    What do you think of my 1st day pairings;

    4somes
    Garcia/Westwood
    Harrington/McDowell
    Poulter/Rose
    Stenson/Jiminez

    4Balls
    Garcia/Casey
    Harrington/Karlsson
    Westwood/Wilson
    Stenson/Hansen

  • Comment number 84.

    What a great event the Ryder cup is. But this one for me is tainted by Showpony being picked ahead of a true giant of golf and a player in top form, Clarke. Poulter has no form coming into this, contrary to what some posters are saying on this forum.

    Faldo and Poulter will never have any involvement in the european tour again so I'll be glad to see the back of them when its over. Faldo has stripped the teamwork from the European team and wants individuals - it did not work for the US in the past. We'll see what happens..

  • Comment number 85.

    Faldofan.. speculating about the opening pairings is pointless. There are too many permutations to list, and the arguments will rage until right up to the tee-off.

  • Comment number 86.

    What a lot of posters I think are missing is that Matchplay in a team event is an entirely different beast to strokeplay.

    Just ask Tiger Woods, look at his abysmal record in the Ryder Cup. The World Matchplay, where Clarke and more especially Montogomery have good records, , shows also who can tolerate 36 holes in a day; not everyone - and Poulter in my view doesn't have the focus for that.

    Every match is a one-off, it is about temperament, not statistics. That's why Faldo is WRONG to pick Poulter. He is a player in the selfish Faldo mould, that's why he likes him, look at Poulter's bizarre comments that in a couple of years only he and Woods will dominate the World game.

    That he hasn't shot a 66 in competitive play since January means also the stats aren't even that good for Faldo to hide behind. A great run at the Open granted, but his temperament is suspect and he most certainly is the worst possible choice in terms of 'team'.

    The advantage Europe should have taken into the team room and out onto the course with personalities like Clarke also has been ripped away. I fear this team will be soulless, though Jimenez brings something to the table in terms of spirit.

    At odds against, the advantage will now lie very firmly with the home team.

    Advantage U.S.A.

  • Comment number 87.

    We appreciate Faldo not selecting Clarke as it gives us some glimmer of hope at being successful.

    As an objective observer, it is not surprising that Faldo failed to identify the key trait that we Americans have attributed to the recent success of the Europeans' side. That trait being it's team chemistry. Who better as a wildcard pick to help ensure that chemistry more than Big Darren Clarke? Beyond the argument of who is in better form, Clarke with his infectious attitude would cetanly bolster the overall team's mentality. However, it does not astonish me that Faldo, the loner, abstains from realizing the value of that chemistry.

    Wouldn't you really like to know what vice-captain Ollie's opinion would have been?? I bet he would like to have Big D on the roster.

  • Comment number 88.

    Good comment gpop67; all this Euro navel-gazing; who are we expecting to see Paul Azinger pick?

  • Comment number 89.

    All of this criticism aimed at Poulter is pathetic and smacks of either mindless grey haired Golf Secretaries who criticise him for being differnt and exciting or of nepitism beacuase he' doesn't hail from the Emerald Isle ... - he didn't make the pick, Faldo did.. and besides he is ranked number 23 in the world (over the last two years) higher than Casey, Monty, Clarke, Wilson and many others who are either in the team or who were cited as could be in the team.
    Clarke has won nothing worthy of mentioning this year - meaningless event somewhere in Asia against a weak field - Poulter was head and shoulders ahead of anyone (except Padraig) at the Open in tough conditions when many failed to stand up and be counted and blamed the weather, the course and just about everything other than their own inadequacies. I'd rather have Poulter there than a nice man who people want to give a sympathy vote to - there is a huge gap between Poulter and Clark in the world rankings - that said I'd rather Clark be there than Wilson....
    Nobody appears to mention the fact that Sergio has won nothing of note for ages nor Casey, nor Stenson - lets just hope that if the Ryder Cup comes down to one put on the final day that its either Padraig or Poulter over it and not Casey or Garcia....

  • Comment number 90.

    Tordskipple- if you looked close enough at the rankings you would see that clarke has gained as many world ranking points as IP in the last year (won in lesser events). Clarke's dip in form 2006-07 is well documented and to climb back up the rankings this year is testament to the strength of the man.
    People forget that cause of his loss in form he couldn't make 3 of the majors and likewise in the WGC
    I take offence when he says that Clarke should get a sympathy vote - he is a proven winner on their day he is twice the player the selfish IP is.

  • Comment number 91.

    It may be worth remembering that the Ryder cup is in the U.S where the two captains picks play the majority of there golf and where Casey especially, has shown good recent form. I still would have picked Clark and Casey though.....Unlucky Daz.

  • Comment number 92.

    The last time I was this annoyed with a team selection was with the lions in New Zealand - we all know what happened then

  • Comment number 93.



    Please stop using the term luck, it has no bearing in why Clarke will not be playing in the Ryder cup this year.

  • Comment number 94.

    Poulter's form this year has been nothing short of pathetic. 2 top tens all year?

    Granted 1 was in the Open but I'm guessing the conditions that week will not be similar to those at Valhalla!

    Just Faldo trying to be different as usual and missing the key point to Europes recent success in the event - team spirit.

  • Comment number 95.

    Pedro801 - what is Darren Clarke's current world ranking please?

  • Comment number 96.

    ....please stop going on about the team being soulless and void of spirit because clarke won't be there, Garcia? westwood? Himenez? Harrington? these guys are hardly loners with no team spirit?

  • Comment number 97.

    I agree that Clarke would have been a sounder choice, but my comment concerns the European captaincy.
    I would like to see a return to the days where a captain would be at the helm for two or three Ryder Cups, rather than the American "one cup, one captain" approach. Given the recent successes of the Europeans, a loss in 2008 will label Faldo as a loosing Ryder Cup captain, which given his record in the majors would be undeserving.

    I feel that there is now a conveyor-belt approach to European captains, based on years on the tour, rather than on an individuals ability to captain the side. Faldo fails to inspire as a leader and his press-conference yesterday lacked lucid thought and was populated with repetition.

    I am consoled by the fact that the European team stands tall and has never lacked determination.

  • Comment number 98.

    Granted but the team spirit of those mentioned will be lessened by the choice of Poulter rather than Clarke. Particularly Westwood

  • Comment number 99.

    There will undoubtedly be a great team spirit in the European camp this year. With all those top players and true personalities there will be a great atmosphere.

    It is shame that the captain and the peacock will bring nothing to this party.

  • Comment number 100.

    Clarke is about 56th in the world - he was down around 240 at the start of the year.

    He took most of last year off to be with his young family following the loss of his wife 2 years ago. This was the reason for his low ranking - he missed 3 of the majors and may competition invites due to his low ranking but still managed to drag himself back up the rankings. If he competed in the Majors he would have made the team comfortably.

 

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