Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald admits thinking about selecting his six wild cards is starting to give him sleepless nights.
Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm have already secured places in Donald’s side via the European Points list, with Viktor Hovland qualifying on the World Points list.
Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood currently occupy the other two spots on the World Points list, with Robert MacIntyre holding the third and final place on the European Points list with two qualifying events remaining.
MacIntyre and Alexander Bjork will partner Donald in the first two rounds of this week’s Czech Masters, with three of Donald’s vice-captains tasked with assessing the performance of several other contenders.
Nicolas Colsaerts will partner Pablo Larrazabal and Adrien Dumont de Chassart at Albatross Golf Resort, with Edoardo Molinari playing alonsgide Yannik Paul and Rasmus Hojgaard and Francesco Molinari drawn with Nicolai Hojgaard and Ludvig Aberg.
Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald (above) will name his wild cards on September 4
‘I’m not sure if it was the jet-lag last night or lots of things building up, but I was up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night,’ Donald said.
‘Lots of things whirring through my head – who I should be talking to, next steps, all that sort of stuff.
‘It’s becoming more and more as the week gets closer. A lot to digest, I’m trying to take it day by day, but it’s an important week. I’m excited to be very close to finalising those 12 guys.’
Next week’s Omega European Masters is the final qualifying event, with Donald naming his wild cards on September 4.
‘There are definitely some spots open,’ the former world number one added.
‘I was looking at the statistics this morning and someone as low as 23rd on the European Points list, if they won this week and next, still has a statistical chance of making that top three on the list.
‘All to play for, I’d say, and these guys should be chomping at the bit to show up and have some good weeks. It’s great to see that commitment. It doesn’t go unnoticed.
Donald’s vice-captains will assess the performance of contenders at this week’s Czech Masters
‘Everyone in their right mind should have playing a Ryder Cup as a goal of theirs. People who have played never want to miss one once they’ve been a part of it. Rookies want to understand how special the event is.
‘A lot of guys who should be playing are playing this week and I’m excited to see how the week unfolds.’
The United States regained the trophy two years ago with a record 19-9 victory over Europe at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Europe are looking to make amends and defend a record of not losing a Ryder Cup on home soil since a 15-13 defeat at The Belfry in England in 1993.
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