Poulter, Colsaerts join European Ryder Cup team
European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal said Monday that
picking Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium – along with England’s Ian
Poulter – as his wild-card selections is not a gamble.
The 32-year-old Poulter will be competing in his fourth Ryder
Cup since making his debut in 2004 while Colsaerts will be playing
in his first and is the only rookie on Olazabal’s squad.
”It is true Nicolas is going to be the only rookie on the team
but we do have an experienced team,” said Olazabal. ”Out of the
12 players, 11 have played Ryder Cup. They have proven they can
handle that pressure. They have the experience so we do have a very
”He’s had a very solid season and on top of that he has made
the extra effort trying to make the team, and he really showed me
that he wanted to be part of that team and that is the reason I
Colsaerts was 12th in the European Ryder Cup table, two places
outside of automatic qualification. His commitment to the team was
evident when he played in the Wyndham Championship in North
Carolina and then crossed the Atlantic to tee up in the Johnnie
Walker Championship at Gleneagles last weekend in an attempt to
Colsaerts, who was staying with friends in a nearby village,
said he got a call from Olazabal late Sunday night when the
Spaniard invited him to attend the Gleneagles Hotel where he was
staying ahead of the announcement.
He will be the first Belgium-born player to compete in the
85-year history of the competition.
”Well I know my phone has not stopped ringing but I do hope
this is going to put golf in a better position in (Belgian)
people’s minds, people’s heads,” he said. ”Golf is not a very
popular sport back home, and not much as it is over here in
”I would like to think that some of the young guys are going to
go play tournaments abroad and feel like they are part of a bit of
the golfing culture, just because I’ve finally put the Belgian flag
on the map.”
For Poulter, it is the second time he has needed a wild-card
selection after also getting one in 2008.
Poulter also learned of his selection late on Sunday night after
finishing in a share of 36th place in The Barclays tournament in
”I am just thrilled to get the call last night from Jose which
was a great moment, and I’m going to be thrilled to, again, pour
some passion over the holes at Medinah and I’ll try my best,”
United States captain Davis Love III will announce his four
wild-card picks on Sept. 4 in New York.
The Ryder Cup is Sept. 28-30 at the Medinah Country Club in
Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Paul Lawrie, Graeme McDowell,
Francesco Molinari, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Peter
Hanson and Martin Kaymer also are on the European team.