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Don't write off Europe too fast, the 2018 European Ryder Cup team will be incredibly strong
Why The 2018 European Ryder Cup Team Will Be Seriously Strong
The race to qualify for Thomas Bjorn's 2018 European Ryder Cup Team begins this week at the Czech Masters and after having a look at the current European roster, next year's team could be seriously strong.
As things stand, there are 10 Europeans in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Ranking - there are just six Americans.
In the top 10 we have the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm (who will certainly be making his Ryder Cup debut next year), Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson.
Then from 11 - 20, we have Alex Noren (a Ryder Cup rookie who now has nine European Tour titles to his name), Paul Casey, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Francesco Molinari and Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Yes, Paul Casey is not currently a member of the European Tour however he has said that he will play another Ryder Cup.
If he somehow joins the European Tour next year then he would surely be one of Thomas Bjorn's wildcard picks. I'd truly love Casey to be in that side, but it does seem unlikely.
This time around, Bjorn will have four wildcard picks to add to four European points qualifiers and four World points qualifiers.
From the world points list, we will likely have Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson, and then from the European list we could have Alex Noren, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari.
Now obviously not all of those eight players will qualify automatically in order of their August 2017 world ranking, and we should expected that there will be some surprises down the road.
Don't forget 2016 Ryder Cup hero Thomas Pieters either, or Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick, Chris Wood, Ross Fisher, Martin Kaymer or Bernd Wiesberger.
The list goes on...The likes of Thorbjorn Olesen, Alexander Levy, who of course will want to play in front of his home fans at Le Golf National next year, Shane Lowry, Soren Kjeldsen, Joost Luiten and Jordan Smith all have the ability to win potentially twice before the qualifiers are confirmed after next year's Made in Denmark.
Oh, and what about the Postman Ian Poulter?
Poults is now rejuvenated and climbing back towards the OWGR top 50, currently at #61 having been as low as #204 in March.
The Englishman had a great Open Championship, finished 3rd at the Canadian Open and 22nd at the USPGA Championship.
If he can continue this form then he will surely pick up another W before next September and stake his claim to be in that team.
So, despite the US side having the likes of DJ, Spieth, Fowler, Thomas, Kuchar, Bubba and co, the European side have all the ingredients to win the cup back.
Here's my predicted 12...
Rory McIlroy Jon Rahm Henrik Stenson Sergio Garcia Justin Rose Thomas Pieters Alex Noren Ian Poulter Tommy Fleetwood Francesco Molinari Rafa Cabrera Bello Matt Fitzpatrick
Let us know what your predicted 12 will be and tell us who you think will win next year at Le Golf National!
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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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