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Sunday 22 October 2017

McGinley rules out Langer pick

Europe captain says German not on 'wild card' list

Bernhard Langer of Germany. Picture: Phil Inglis/GETTY IMAGES
Bernhard Langer of Germany. Picture: Phil Inglis/GETTY IMAGES

EUROPEAN captain Paul McGinley has effectively ended speculation that he might consider handing 56-year-old Bernhard Langer one of his three wild cards for September's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Langer claimed the Senior British Open by a record 13 shots at Royal Porthcawl recently and was joint eighth in the Masters in April, but McGinley said last night that would not be good enough for the 2004 captain to make a playing comeback.

"I'm in a very privileged position that I'm spoilt for choice in terms of picks and when it comes to Bernhard Langer, the difficulty for me is estimating exactly where he is with his game because you can't relate him to the top players in the world because he doesn't play against the top players in the world," McGinley said.

"Most of the qualification is done around the European Order of Merit and the world rankings and Bernhard doesn't play in any tournaments, bar the Masters, where either of those count.

"It's very difficult for me to see where Bernhard is so as a result it's unlikely I should go down there because I'm really spoilt for choice in terms of quality players who are chomping at the bit to get in the team.

"He needs to be playing more with the top players in the world if he's really going to be considered."

Speaking while commentating on the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational for Sky Sports, McGinley was also asked whether he had any sympathy for opposite number Tom Watson, who faces a dilemma over picking Tiger Woods for his side.

"No," McGinley added with a laugh. "It's not my business, I'm not getting involved in what Tom should or shouldn't do. I've got my own issues to deal with."

Rory McIlroy's British Open victory at Hoylake also took him to the top of the Ryder Cup qualification standings, but the 25-year-old does not think his Senior Open counterpart should join him on the team at Gleneagles.

McIlroy said: "I think the team dynamic is pretty good at the minute with the mix that we've got and to bring someone in that hasn't spent much time around us mightn't be the best.

"He's not playing against the regular guys week in and week out but he's playing great golf obviously and what he's done this year, and Monty (Colin Montgomerie, who has won two senior majors in 2014) as well has been fantastic.

"If they were to be involved as vice-captains or something then I'd be all for that, but I don't think they should be on the team."

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