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Remind me next time

It is a little over three months until Europe and the USA do battle at Whistling Straits for the 2021 Ryder Cup and both captains will already be thinking about the picks they have to make to complete their 12-man lineup.

Defending champions Europe, who thrashed the USA 17.5-10.5 back in 2018, have nine automatic qualifying spots that are decided between the European Points list (4 qualifiers) and the World Points List (5 qualifiers), leaving skipper Padraig Harrington with three picks.

Surprise Ryder Cup Selections

The final qualifying event for the European players is at the BMW PGA Championship, which ends on September 12, with Harrington then delivering his captain's picks shortly after.

As for the USA, the BMW event also marks the end of qualification but the challengers only have six automatic places available on their team, with captain Steve Stricker then adding in six picks of his own.

With the anticipation growing ahead of the September team showdown, we have taken a look at some possible surprise inclusions for both sides, starting with reigning champions Europe.

Europe - Guido Migliozzi

Migliozzi has really started to come of age over the past couple of years and he is a two-time European Tour winner, having claimed the Magical Kenya Open and Belgian Knockout in 2019.

The Italian is in great form, recording back-to-back second-place finishes at the British Masters and Made in HimmerLand before ending up in a share of fourth at last week's US Open on his major debut.

The 24-year-old also represented Europe in the 2015 Jacques Leglise Trophy, winning two of his four matches, so he knows the pressure of match-play golf and he has definitely put himself in the Ryder Cup frame with recent showings.

Europe - Francesco Molinari

It seems strange to suggest Molinari would be a surprise pick, given he took a maximum five points at Le Golf National in 2018, but the Italian has suffered a huge fall from grace and is nowhere near the automatic places.

Now 133rd in the world rankings, the 2018 Open champion has not won since March 2019 when landing the Arnold Palmer Invitational and a captain's pick looks to be his best route of getting into Harrington's team.

Molinari does have the benefit of experience, which could come into the captain's mind when making his selection, while three top-10 finishes and a T13 at last week's US Open maybe suggest he is starting to rediscover some form.

USA - Will Zalatoris

Zalatoris has made an impressive start to his career since turning pro in 2018 and he claimed the spoils at the TPC Colorado Championship in July last year, ending up one shot ahead of Chase Koepka.

The 24-year-old also has three top-10 major finishes to his name from just five attempts, so there is clearly a bright future ahead for him, and that ability to perform in the best tournaments could come into Stricker's thinking.

Zalatoris only failed to get out of his WGC-Match Play group this year by half a point and he halved his match with Tony Finau, while he beat Dylan Frittelli 2UP and only lost to Jason Kokrak by one hole.

USA - Stewart Cink

At 48-years-old, Cink is enjoying a renaissance in his career and he landed the Safeway Open last year, his first title since winning the 2009 Open, before winning the RBC Heritage Open in April 2021.

The American is having no issues off the tee, averaging in excess of 300 yards, and his resurgence over the past year has seen him climb back into the top 50 in the world.

Cink also has the added bonus of Ryder Cup experience, having featured in five previous editions, and he was unbeaten in his last appearance in 2010 - winning once and halving his other three matches.

Ryder Cup 2021 Betting Odds

USA to win - BET NOW


Europe, spearheaded by US Open champion Jon Rahm, are 7/4 to win the Ryder Cup and they clearly face a tough challenge to achieve the feat, with just one victory coming from their last three attempts on US soil.

The USA are 8/13 to win back the cup and they do have a strong-looking six in the selection places, with Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele holding the automatic spots right now.

A draw, which would see Europe retain the trophy, is 11/1.