In-form Langer overlooked for Ryder Cup

European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley had no qualms about picking a rookie, but he baulked at a veteran when it came down to golf’s biggest stage.

McGinley opted for rookie Stephen Gallacher and two seasoned stars in Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood as his captain’s picks for the European squad.

Bernhard Langer 2014 Senior Open Champion – Bernhard Langer (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

But the Irishman couldn’t bring himself to give 57-year-old “senior” Bernhard Langer a guernsey.

Even though McGinley admitted Langer was one of several considered for his wildcard spots, he was far more concerned at having to give former world No 1 Luke Donald the bad news, that he hadn’t made the team either.

McGinley rightly pointed out that it was difficult to gauge Langer’s game, given that his tie for eighth at the US Masters in April was the only time he had competed against the other Cup candidates, instead restricting his play to the US Seniors Tour, where he has been a revelation, winning 23 times.

Even his 13-shot win in the British Senior Open wasn’t enough to tip McGinley over the edge into selecting him to partner the above three as well as automatic picks Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Victor Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Thomas Björn and Graeme McDowell in the 12-man team.

“I’ve said all along from day one, I’m not afraid to pick a rookie if he proved himself and there’s no doubt that Stevie Gallacher has proved himself and earned his spot on this team,” McGinley said.

“As a rookie, you’ve got to do a little bit more to earn a pick, and I think Stevie did a little bit more; more than a little bit more.”

You have to wonder though, if Bernhard Langer wasn’t good enough to make this Ryder Cup team, would anyone on the Champions Tour ever be able to “cut it” again.

“If I was Paul McGinley he’d be my first pick and I’d throw Monty [Colin Montgomerie] in there, too,” suggested US Seniors’ Tour star Rocco Mediate.

“Langer’s a workaholic. He never stops.”

Certainly Langer wasn’t prepared to “budge” just to prove his point:

“I love playing on the Champions Tour and I’m not going to start playing the European Tour now or the US Tour, just to prove a point,” he said.