Captain Jose Maria Olazabal completed Team Europe’s Ryder Cup side today as he announced Englishman Ian Poulter and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts (both pictured) as his wild card picks.

Poulter played a key role in Europe’s success at Celtic Manor in 2010, wining 3 out of 4 points and was the highest individual scorer in the 2008 Ryder Cup in Valhalla, albeit in a defeated European side on that occasion. It will be 36 year-old’s 4th Ryder Cup appearance.

Colsaerts will be making his debut and becomes the first Belgian golfer to ever take part in golf’s historic trans-Atlantic event.

The two will join the ten who qualified for the team automatically either through being in the top 5 on European Tour ranking points list or one of the next 5 highest on the world rankings. The full Euopean team line-up which will attempt to defend the illustrious trophy at Medinah, Chicago is as follows:

  • Rory McIlroy (NI) Age: 23 Caps: 1
  • Justin Rose (Eng) Age: 32 Caps: 1
  • Graeme McDowell (NI) Age: 33 Caps: 2
  • Paul Lawrie (Sco) Age: 43 Caps: 1
  • Francesco Molinari (Ita) Age: 29 Caps: 1
  • Luke Donald (Eng) Age: 34 Caps: 3
  • Lee Westwood (Eng) Age: 39 Caps: 7
  • Sergio Garcia (Spa) Age: 32 Caps: 5
  • Peter Hanson (Swe) Age: 34 Caps: 1
  • Martin Kaymer (Ger) Age: 27 Caps: 1
  • Ian Poulter (Eng) Age: 36 Caps 3
  • Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) Age: 29 Caps 0

Containing 4 major winners, along with heavyweights on the Tour such as Luke Donald and Lee Westwood it is a formidable looking team with considerable of Ryder Cup experience, with Colsaerts the only player making his debut in the bi-annual event.

It has also been announced that Olazabal will be joined by 4 vice-captains for the tournament: 2011 Open winner Darren Clarke, former Ryder Cup winner Paul McGinley, Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn and fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Team USA’s captain Davis Love III will announce his 4 wildcard entries on September 4th to add to the 8 who have automatically qualified. Those already in the team are: Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson.

The tourament itself will take place from 28th-30th September at Medinah Country Club in Chicago, Illinois. Team Europe will be looking to successfully defend the trophy in America this time round and continue the recent success of the past decade which has seen the trophy remain on European soil after four of the last five Ryder Cups.

Simon Mulligan