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This time tomorrow, we’ll know which four players Thomas Bjorn has chosen to complete his European team for this month’s Ryder Cup. 

If convention wisdom holds true, Bjorn will contact all of the players in with a realistic chance of earning one of his four picks before announcing the news on Sky Sports Golf at 2pm on Wednesday.

Three times a player in the event, Bjorn knows what it’s like to hope that you’ll be picked – and, equally, knows the disappointment of missing out.

The Dane was overlooked by Ian Woosnam in favour of Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood back in 2006, having narrowly missed out on qualifying automatically for the side.

• Does this spell bad news for Matt Wallace’s Ryder Cup prospects?

• “I’m making it tough not to pick me” says Ryder Cup hopeful

How did he take the news? Not well. 

Not well at all.

“I haven’t heard a word off him for half a year, and I’ve spoken to several players who are on the team, and have been for a long time, and they haven’t either,” said Bjorn at the time. “What sort of captaincy is that? I have lost all respect for him. 

“My relationship with him is completely dead and will remain so. This will be the first time I don’t even watch the Ryder Cup on television, and you don’t know how sad that is, given how much I care for that tournament. 

Ian Woosnam

“I desperately want the 12 players to be a success, but I want them to do it in spite of the captain.”

He added: “If the decision was based on competitive results, then I could go along with it. But it seems there’s other reasons. He’s based his decision on results which happened five years ago.”

Bjorn apologised the very next day for his “hurtful and personal” remarks and, in the event, Europe thumped the US 18½-9½ at The K Club to win for the third match in a row.

• Eight Ryder Cup qualifiers CONFIRMED!

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Over the next 24 hours, the Dane will be the one delivering the news rather than receiving it. One wonders how loudly his own words from 12 years ago will ring in his ears as he weighs up his options.

He’s in a truly unenviable position: he has players in form with little experience and others with experience but little form. The decisions promise to be as difficult as his justifications for them will be fascinating.


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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