September 01, 2014
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- Luke Donald failed to qualify for next week's BMW Championship. (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NORTON, Mass. -- Luke Donald's FedExCup Playoffs came to an end Monday following a 67 to finish even par at the Deutsche Bank Championship -- and outside the top 70 in the points standings.
Now he'll head home to Jupiter, Fla., and wait for a phone call from Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley to see if he is one of three Captain's Picks.
Europe's picks will be announced Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. ET, though Donald said he expects to hear from McGinley as early as Monday evening. The nine automatic qualifiers were finalized on Sunday after the Italian Open concluded.
Many, including Donald, expect McGinley to use two of those picks on red-hot Stephen Gallacher and Ryder Cup stalwart Ian Poulter, leaving the final spot to Donald or Lee Westwood.
"If you'd asked me a few weeks ago, I feel like I probably was going to be (picked)," Donald said. "Now I'm not so sure."
This season has been a frustrating one for Donald.
He had just three top-10s on the PGA TOUR and only one on the European Tour. He also hasn't finished in the top 25 of a tournament since April.
Westwood's year arguably has been just as bad, if not worse.
Since a victory in Malaysia in April, he has just one top-10 on the PGA TOUR. He missed the cut at the U.S. Open and Open Championship and failed to qualify for the second FedExCup Playoffs event.
"I told (McGinley) I felt like my game was pretty close," said Donald, who last spoke with Europe's Captain after missing the cut at last week's The Barclays. "It seems like I have been in a bit of a mental rut and not been able to get any momentum going on the golf course ... But I feel like the game isn't far away."
Twice before, in 2004 and 2010, Donald was captain's pick. He also lobbied hard for McGinley to lead Europe and boasts an impressive 10-4-1 career record, which includes a 3-1 mark in singles, in four appearances.
Westwood, meanwhile, is 18-13-6 in eight appearances but just 3-5 in Singles.
So who will get the nod?
Martin Kaymer is already on the team and offered his thoughts Monday.
"I think at the end of the day you have to ask yourself who will get the point in the singles," he said. "I think that's very important.
"I think Poulter, he should be in for sure. He has a great record. If you think those four people now with Westwood, his record is good. He played many times. He's a solid person, a leader in the team. Luke Donald, one of the best short game players out here. I know that or I heard that he's struggling a little bit with his long game, but he will make everything up with his short game. But to be honest who deserves it more, I think is Stephen Gallacher should get the chance."
Whatever way McGinley goes, Donald said he will be fine with the decision.
"Hopefully (McGinley) looks a little past form," Donald said. "It's not a nice feeling to wait it out.
"If you don't make it automatically you only have yourself to blame. I wouldn't hold it against Lee and wouldn't hold it against Captain McGinley (if I didn't get picked). Fortunately, two times it has gone my way. Hopefully it'll continue that way."
Luke Donald’s approach leads to birdie at Deutsche Bank