By Sean Goff | Sports Reporter
Jose Maria Olazabal has named England’s Ian Poulter (36) and Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts (29) as his wildcard picks for Europe when the Ryder Cup tees off at Medinah on September 28.
And Paddy Power has installed the pair at 18/1 and 25/1 respectively to hole the winning putt in its online betting.
The Irish firm make the States 8/11 favourites to reclaim the Ryder Cup crown from Europe who are 11/8. The draw is priced at 10/1.
The big-hitting Belgium (29) failed to finish in the top two at Gleneagles to qualify for an automatic play-off spot but was favourite to be given the captain’s pick ahead of Ireland’s Padraig Harrington. Poulter will be playing in his fourth Ryder Cup and has been on the winning side twice.
Olazabal and Harrington have thought to have fallen out at the 2003 Seve Trophy. The Spaniard failed to wait on a refereeing decision over repairing pitch marks that Harrington had requested which has led to tension between the pair ever since.
The European Ryder Cup captain told the Gleneagles press conference:
I know Padraig is a great player but he’s 19th on the list. I think he took it well and that was it.
Compatriot Sergio Garcia played himself into the automatic places with a win in the Wyndham Trophy on the US Tour a week ago while Paul Lawrie (43) ran out a four-stroke winner in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles on Sunday but had already secured his return to Europe’s Ryder Cup team for the first time in 13 years.
European Ryder Cup team v US, Medinah, September 28.
Paul Lawrie,(43), Scotland, Ryder Cups: 1
Rory McIlroy, (23) N Ireland, R Cups: 1
Justin Rose, (32), England, R Cups: 1
Graeme McDowell, (33), N Ireland, R Cups: 2
Francesco Molinari, (29), Italy, R Cups: 1
Luke Donald, (34), England, R Cups: 3
Lee Westwood, (39), England Ryder Cups: 7
Peter Hanson, (34) Sweden, R Cups:1
Sergio Garcia, (32), Spain, R Cups: 6
Martin Kaymer, (27), Germany, Ryder Cups: 1
Nicolas Colsaerts (29), Belgium, Ryder Cup Rookie
Ian Poulter (36) , England, Ryder Cups: 3
Meanwhile in the States Nick Wattney (31) made a late bid for the US Ryder Cup side after winning the Barclays Championship on Sunday by three shots from Brandt Snedeker.
Wattney is 11/8 in Paddy Power’s online betting to get the nod alongside the likes of Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler who are all currently relying on captain Davis Love III’s discretion.
Sergio Garcia was seeking back-to-back wins on Tour but finished joint third with Dustin Johnson after toppling off the top of the leader board with a four-over-par 75 on the final day.
American players on the fringes of US captain Davis Love III have this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston as their final chance to seal a their place before he picks his four wildcards next week.
Wattney, Snedeker and Johnson are all chasing the FOUR coveted American captain’s picks as they currently lie outside the top eight in the US system.