McIlroy backs Pieters' Ryder Cup inclusion

2016-09-02 16:37
Thomas Pieters (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Rory McIlroy has publicly supported Darren Clarke's decision to include Thomas Pieters in Europe's Ryder Cup team ahead of the likes of Russell Knox and Luke Donald.

Europe's Ryder Cup captain Clarke named Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Pieters as his three Captain's Picks for the Ryder Cup which takes place at Hazeltine National Golf Club on the 30th of September.

Thereafter, McIlroy, who made the team as an automatic qualifier, explained that Westwood and Kaymer picked themselves due to the lack of experience in the team but added that the third pick could have gone to a whole host of players including Knox and Donald.

As for Pieters, McIlroy felt that the big-hitting Belgian was worthy of his spot on the team and was confident that he would deliver when it mattered.

"I think everyone was pretty confident that Martin and Lee were going to get picked," said McIlroy.

"You looked at our automatic selections and we probably needed a bit more experience in there.

"You have the four, Sergio (Garcia), Henrik (Stenson), Justin (Rose) and myself, and then you have the five rookies, although we have the Masters champion (Danny Willett) as a rookie.

"So to add a little bit of experience in there was necessary. That last pick could have gone to anyone - what Thomas did in Denmark was impressive.

"Russell Knox has played well throughout the year and Luke Donald showed a bit of form and he has that experience in the Ryder Cup - so there were a few guys to consider.

"I wouldn't have liked to have been in Darren's shoes - it was a tough decision to make. But I think Thomas will be a great addition to the team."

Read more on:    ryder cup  |  rory mcilroy  |  thomas pieters  |  golf

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.