Poulter, Colsaerts named as Europe’s

Poulter, Colsaerts named as Europe’s

GLENEAGLES, Scotland - Agence France-Presse
Poulter, Colsaerts named as Europe’s

Nicolas Colsaerts is set to become the first Belgian in the 85-year history of the event to compete in the Ryder Cup. AFP photo

European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal yesterday named England’s Ian Poulter and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts as his two “wildcard” picks for next month’s tournament at Medinah, Illinois.

Poulter will be competing in his fourth Ryder Cup since making his debut at Oakland Hills in 2004 while the 29-year-old Colsaerts will be the only debutant in Olazabal’s team.

It is Poulter’s second wildcard after he received a similar pick in 2008, while Colsaerts is the first Belgian in the 85-year history of the event to compete in the Ryder Cup.

“Ian’s had a great Ryder Cup record,” said Olazabal. “He was playing well, he had some issues early in the season.

“He got ill and he couldn’t play as much as he could, but his attitude and his spirit in the Ryder Cup team has always been great. He’s one of those players that likes to be in that situation.

“I think he gets the best out of him playing the Ryder Cup. The two times I had the opportunity to share a few moments with him at Valhalla and Celtic Manor, you didn’t need to motivate him.”

Olazabal singled out Colsaerts for his determination and effort after the Belgian had finished two places outside of automatically qualifying for the European team.

But after sharing seventh in this month’s PGA Tour Wyndham Championship and then making the effort to return to Europe for last week’s Johnnie Walker Championship, where he shared 19th place, Olazabal afforded him a pick.

“Nicolas, obviously he’s a rookie. If you look at the team, he’s going to be the only rookie on the team,” the Spaniard said.

U.S. captain Davis Love will announce his four wildcard picks on Sept. 4.