Englishman Poulter among European Ryder Cup wildcard picks

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Jose Maria Olazabal has named Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts as his two wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup, completing his 12-man European squad.

The tournament, which gets underway next month at Medinah Country Club in Chicago, will be the 39th renewal, with Europe entering as defending champions.

And Olazabal has made unsurprising choices as he aims to lead his side to a successful defence of their crown, and justify 5/4 odds in doing so.

Poulter’s selection in particular didn’t come as a shock, as the Englishman has partaken in three Ryder Cups previously, in 2004, 2008 and 2010.

He has an impressive record too, having been on the winning European side in the 2004 and most recent 2010 events.

The flamboyant Herts native has also won eight of his 11 Ryder Cup matches, and enters the competition in his best form of the season after a disappointing start.

Given his previous experience in the Ryder Cup, some punters may see Poulter as an attractive bet to be the top European points scorer, for which he is a 7/1 chance.

Meanwhile, Colsaerts is a contrasting selection, as he will line up as the only European squad member with no previous Ryder Cup experience.

He will also become the first Belgian to ever play in the tournament, but has been chosen amidst impressive form this season, which has included two World Match Play Championships.

Such displays in match play competition indicate how valuable Colsaerts could prove himself to be for Europe here, and he may too see support to be the team’s top scorer.

Colsaerts is 16/1 to achieve that accolade, though he faces fierce competition from a star-studded list of teammates and he may be among those to sit out certain formats.

World number one Rory McIlroy is one of these, and is unsurprising 5/1 favourite to lead the points scoring for the European team.

He is ahead of English representatives Luke Donald at 6/1, and 7/1 Justin Rose, with all seeming to bode well for a successful European title defence at 5/4.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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