It’s inevitable. We knew they couldn’t last forever. Sooner or later, the next wave must take over.
We could be talking about 20 years ago or we could be talking in present time.
When the Ryder Cup rolls around in September, the European team could possibly be without the likes of Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Sergio García, Graeme McDowell or Ian Poulter. Unless, starting now, they commence to have a monster year, any or all of that quintet must count on a captain’s pick from Darren Clarke.
On the other hand, the likes of Danny Willett and Andy Sullivan both have a good chance to make Clarke’s side on their own. And the harsh reality is that Willett and Sullivan are better players at the moment than Westwood, Donald, et al.
And the European team won’t miss a beat.
It’s high time for a changing of the guard just the same as when Seve, Ollie, Faldo, Montgomerie, Langer and Woosie had to step aside for the next generation to take over.
Willett has four victories on the European Tour and Sullivan won three times in 2015 alone, plus a runner-up to Rory McIlroy at the DP World Tour Championship. And Sullivan is every bit as excitable and passionate as Poulter.
Without a doubt, the old guard will try their damnedest to make the side. And Clarke likely will have tough choices to make when the time comes. How could you have a Ryder Cup without Westwood and Poulter?
But if a couple of the marquee players are replaced by Willett and Sullivan, the team will be just as strong. If not stronger.
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