The big talk last weekend was about Bernhard Langer and his epic win at the Senior British Open. Langer set a Champions Tour record on Sunday with his 13-shot win at Royal Porthcawl and got people talking about Langer possibly landing one of the captain's picks for the European Ryder Cup team for the matches that kick off in late September.
If Langer was picked by captain Paul McGinley it would give the 56-year-old a chance to tie and break a lot of important European Ryder Cup records. Just being on the team would tie him with Nick Faldo for most appearances ever with 11 and would give Langer a great shot at passing Faldo for most points ever for a European team member as he sits just a full point behind Faldo in that regard.
But Rory McIlroy doesn't see that happening. The British Open champion was asked about Langer (and Colin Montgomerie, for that matter) making a stacked European team in his Bridgestone press conference this week and shot down the idea of a Champions Tour member landing one of those coveted captain's picks.
"I think the team dynamic is pretty good at the minute with the mix that we've got, and to bring someone in that hasn't spent much time around us or those guys might not be the best, but he's obviously playing great golf," McIlroy said.
"It's sort of hard to — because he's not playing against the regular guys week in and week out, but he's playing great golf obviously, and what he's done this year and this month as well has been fantastic. I'd say probably, if they were to be involved in the Ryder Cup, if they were vice captains or something, then I'd be all for that, but I don't think they should be on the team."
While the words might come off harsh, the point is very, very valid. The European Ryder Cup team is going to be an all-star group, with names like Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, and Lee Westwood all outside the automatic qualification list at this point.
To put someone like Langer ahead of names like that, even as good as he's played in recent weeks, seems like a fun idea in theory, but this European team is an elite group that has played some pretty incredible golf at this event over the last few years and changing that might end up hurting more than helping.
If Langer made the team, I don't think anyone would be upset about it. He still has plenty of game, finishing T-25 at the 2013 Masters and T-8 this year at Augusta National, but with so many PGA Tour stars needing that phone call from McGinley, it might just be too much of a stretch for Langer, and McIlroy is just pointing that out.
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Bernhard Langer
- Nick Faldo
- Rory McIlroy