Thomas Bjorn names his four Ryder Cup picks

Thomas Bjorn 050918

The worst-kept secret in golf is out.

Europe's Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn has named the four players he has picked to complete his side for this month's match with the USA at Le Golf National in France.

Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson, Paul Casey and Sergio Garcia join the eight automatic qualifiers for the team, with Bjorn opting to favour experience ahead of form in making his choices.

That means no place on the side for Matt Wallace, three times a winner on the European Tour this season, or Rafa Cabrera Bello and Thomas Pieters, both of whom impressed on their debuts in the 17-11 defeat to the US at Hazeltine two years ago.

Ian Poulter 050918

Poulter, 42, makes his sixth Ryder Cup team. The Englishman has a formidable record in the match, having won 12 of his 18 matches. This is the fourth time he has been picked, equalling Sir Nick Faldo's record of wild cards.

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Casey, 41, will make his fourth appearance in the match and his first since 2008. The winner of the Valspar Championship on the PGA Tour in Marc, the Englishman was controversially overlooked for a pick by Colin Montgomerie for the 2010 match at Celtic Manor in Wales. He has since largely played on the PGA Tour but rejoined the European Tour late last year with a view to ending his decade-long yder Cup absence. He has a 3-2-4 overall record.

Former Open champion Stenson, 42, has overcome a wrist injury that plagued him for most of the summer to take his place on the team. This will be the Swede's fifth Ryder Cup and he will be expected to resume his formidable partnership with Justin Rose, a combination that has yielded great success in recent editions of the match.

Sergio Garcia 050918 2

Last but by no means least, Garcia, 38, has been picked to play in his ninth Ryder Cup despite an indifferent season. The Spaniard, above, made his debut in the match in 1999 and has subsequently missed just one edition, the 2010 match, which he ruled himself out of due to a loss of form.

With 22.5 points to his name across eight previous matches, he is one of the top-scorers in the history of the contest and Bjorn will be hoping he can rediscover his best golf in Paris at the end of the month

The four picks are joined in the side by Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Francesco Molinari, as well as rookies Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton, Alex Noren and Thorbjorn Olesen.

US captain Jim Furyk last night announced the first three of his four wild cards for the match.

The 2018 Ryder Cup takes place at Le Golf National, near Paris, from September 28-30.

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