Don't write off Europe too fast, the 2018 European Ryder Cup team will be incredibly strong

Why The 2018 European Ryder Cup Team Will Be Seriously Strong

The race to qualify for Thomas Bjorn’s 2018 European Ryder Cup Team begins this week at the Czech Masters and after having a look at the current European roster, next year’s team could be seriously strong.

Looking at 2016’s side, USA were rightly the favourites with Darren Clarke taking six rookies out to Hazeltine, however 2018’s team for Paris will definitely be strong enough to regain the trophy.

As things stand, there are 10 Europeans in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Ranking – there are just six Americans.

Related: 5 reasons to go to the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris

In the top 10 we have the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm (who will certainly be making his Ryder Cup debut next year), Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson.

Jon Rahm What's In The Bag 2018 european ryder cup team

Jon Rahm will add some much-needed energy to the side next year

Then from 11 – 20, we have Alex Noren (a Ryder Cup rookie who now has nine European Tour titles to his name), Paul Casey, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Francesco Molinari and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Yes, Paul Casey is not currently a member of the European Tour however he has said that he will play another Ryder Cup.

If he somehow joins the European Tour next year then he would surely be one of Thomas Bjorn’s wildcard picks. I’d truly love Casey to be in that side, but it does seem unlikely.

This time around, Bjorn will have four wildcard picks to add to four European points qualifiers and four World points qualifiers.

2018 european ryder cup team

Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy at the Ryder Cup 2014. Credit: Jamie Squire (Getty)

From the world points list, we will likely have Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson, and then from the European list we could have Alex Noren, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari.

Now obviously not all of those eight players will qualify automatically in order of their August 2017 world ranking, and we should expected that there will be some surprises down the road.

Don’t forget 2016 Ryder Cup hero Thomas Pieters either, or Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick, Chris Wood, Ross Fisher, Martin Kaymer or Bernd Wiesberger.

2018 european ryder cup team

It’s hard to imagine Thomas Pieters missing out on next year’s side.
(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

The list goes on…The likes of Thorbjorn Olesen, Alexander Levy, who of course will want to play in front of his home fans at Le Golf National next year, Shane Lowry, Soren Kjeldsen, Joost Luiten and Jordan Smith all have the ability to win potentially twice before the qualifiers are confirmed after next year’s Made in Denmark.

Oh, and what about the Postman Ian Poulter?

Poults is now rejuvenated and climbing back towards the OWGR top 50, currently at #61 having been as low as #204 in March.

The Englishman had a great Open Championship, finished 3rd at the Canadian Open and 22nd at the USPGA Championship.

2018 european ryder cup team

Can Ian Poulter make the side?

If he can continue this form then he will surely pick up another W before next September and stake his claim to be in that team.

So, despite the US side having the likes of DJ, Spieth, Fowler, Thomas, Kuchar, Bubba and co, the European side have all the ingredients to win the cup back.

Here’s my predicted 12…

Rory McIlroy
Jon Rahm
Henrik Stenson
Sergio Garcia
Justin Rose
Thomas Pieters
Alex Noren
Ian Poulter
Tommy Fleetwood
Francesco Molinari
Rafa Cabrera Bello
Matt Fitzpatrick

Let us know what your predicted 12 will be and tell us who you think will win next year at Le Golf National!

Make sure you follow Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.