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Ryder Cup takes shape as Europeans leave Luke Donald off roster

European Ryder Cup team leaves Luke Donald off the roster

The European team headed for the Ryder Cup later this month will face the U.S. without former top-ranked golfer Luke Donald.

Donald led Europe to victories in four past matches but has struggled with recent swing changes. He was left off the squad Tuesday when captain Paul McGinley named Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Stephen Gallacher as his wild-card selections.

"Paul had a very difficult decision with some fantastic players to pick from," Poulter told reporters at a news conference.

The wild-card selections join a roster that already included current No. 1-ranked Rory McIlory, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.

U.S. captain Tom Watson revealed his wild-card selections -- Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson -- on Tuesday night.

Westwood has played in every Ryder Cup since 1997. He has 18 wins and six halves in 37 matches, and his nine consecutive appearances place him in a tie for fourth on the all-time list of Europeans in the biennial match.

"I’ve played a lot better in the last month and a half and I’ve been showing some form and giving Paul a reason to pick me," he said. "I’m delighted and honored to be representing Europe again.”

Gallacher will be one of three rookies -- including Victor Dubuisson and Jamie Donaldson -- on a team scheduled to face the U.S. in Gleneagles, Scotland, from Sept. 26-28.

As for Donald, he was "very, very disappointed" but took the bad news with class, McGinley said.

"His last few words were, 'Go Europe,'" the captain recalled. "I think that says a lot about Luke."

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun

UPDATES

8:49 p.m.: The story has been updated with the U.S. Ryder Cup team's wild-card selections.

The story was originally published at 9 a.m.

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