When the Ryder Cup reaches Hazeltine in the fall, Team Europe will be teeing up to try and make it four victories in a row. Domination over the last six years has seen two solid home performances from the European side, separated by the memorable 'Miracle at Medinah'.
Team Europe will be seeking to take their chance back on US soil in September. But which 12 men will lead Europe to further glory and send the Americans back to the drawing board yet again?
Here are my choices for who should make the team.
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The Qualified Places
The talismanic past-winner from Northern Ireland will have little trouble qualifying for the team to play at Hazeltine. All the signs point towards another strong year for McIlroy, who will be hoping to complete a career Grand Slam at Augusta this Spring. Currently leading the Ryder Cup European qualifying points list, his place in the team is all but confirmed.
Stenson has always been a consistent performer, however, a particularly strong season in 2015 has seen some great performances in WGC events and a very impressive run in the FedEx Cup playoffs. He currently leads the Ryder Cup World qualifying points list for the Europeans and his continued form will be of great value at Hazeltine.
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Rose is a real contender in every major and he is expected to challenge in all four major events again next year. A green jacket is the real goal for the Englishman and at his best he just might be able to beat McIlroy and Jordan Speith.
Regardless of this, Rose will have no trouble qualifying for Hazeltine and his presence, after an incredible performance at Gleneagles in 2014, will be essential to Europe's retention of the trophy.
A memorable performance from the young professional at the 2015 Open Championship should spell the start of a promising career. A tour win last season cemented his place in many people's minds as an up and coming talent and I predict a strong season for Willet, including qualifying for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.
It seems that Garcia may never win that major he has worked so hard for. However, strong performances recently, including a win in Vietnam, show that the fiery Spaniard never goes away.
Currently out of the Ryder Cup places, Garcia has some work to do to avoid his fate being placed in the hands of the wildcard picks. However, after reaching the Players Championship play-offs last season, I believe he still has it in him to qualify and I think he will do just that.
Despite only one win last season on the tour, Fitzpatrick achieved a generous helping of top ten finishes which have left the world number 59 in a great position to qualify for the Ryder Cup. A fine young golfer who will add great strength to the European side, I can see him partnering Willett in the foursomes and they could make a great pair.
The long-haired Frenchman put in a sterling performance at Gleneagles in 2014 and looks to be in good stead to qualify again in 2016. A strong and consistent performer on the European circuit and a great addition to the team, Dubuisson currently sits comfortably in the European qualifying points table.
The young Dane continues to impress, a victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links last season showed his impressive technical control and composure.
I predict a strong year for Oleson, who has a proven history of performing well in majors and competing at the highest level. A bit of work is required to reach the qualifying points required but I believe Oleson will outshine the competition in 2016 and take his spot.
Donaldson is a promising player, who produced a strong showing in the Ryder Cup last time around. Despite not having the dream season he had hoped for, things still look bright for the young talent.
I predict two tour wins this season and a few strong top tens finishes, including at the Open Championship. Whether this is correct or not, I genuinely believe that Donaldson will qualify and that in doing so will bring only strength to the side.
The negative of picking Lowry is that he has no Ryder cup experience. The positives are that he is a consistently strong performer and bagged a win at Bridgestone last year. Clarke will know how valuable Lowry can be to the team and hopefully will understand that he could be a wise selection.
McDowell is absolutely essential to the European Ryder Cup team, he provides experience, grit and raw talent. A fellow countryman of Clarke, he will surely be selected to give Europe that winning edge and will also be a strong figure in holding the team together.
Mr. Ryder Cup will not be left out of the side. Even if he plays poorly during the 2016 season, I am in no doubt that he will be selected. He lives and breathes this competition and is a priceless asset to this European team.
Who do you think should make the European Ryder Cup team? Have your say by leaving a comment below
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