Anxious times ahead for Ryder Cup hopefuls Westwood, Poulter and Donald

Ryder Cup hopefuls Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Luke Donald are staring at an anxious nine-day wait before Europe captain Paul McGinley names the three wildcard picks for next month’s matches against the USA.

There is little any of the players can do now except for wait in hope that they will be selected at the end of this week’s final event, the Italian Open in Turin.

The Deutsche Bank Championship in Massachusetts does not count in terms of qualifying points.

Word number one Rory McIlroy, along with third-ranked Henrik Stenson, US Open champion Martin Kaymer, Victory Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell and Thomas Bjorn all make up the nine automatic places.

PING’s Lee Westwood has played in the last eight Ryder Cups, while Mizuno’s Donald has featured in four of the last five events. Both men have strong shouts for inclusion, and will be hopeful when McGinley makes his picks on September 2.

Cobra Golf’s Poulter is the man who headed the remarkable ‘Miracle in Medinah,’ comeback victory two years ago, but an injury-ravaged season and poor form has seen the Englishman staring down the barrel as his chances of making the team now hinge of being saved by the team captain.

Other notable candidates for selection include Nike Golf’s Paul Casey, Adams golfer Bernhard Langer and Miguel Angel Jimenez of PING.