Ryder Cup 2018: Rory McIlroy welcomes Sergio Garcia's wildcard selection

Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy says Sergio Garcia has been a great Ryder Cup partner for him

Rory McIlroy has welcomed Sergio Garcia's selection for Europe's Ryder Cup squad to face the United States.

The Spaniard was one of the four players given wildcards by team captain Thomas Bjorn on Wednesday.

McIlroy believes Garcia's overall contribution to the team - on and off the course - helped him earn a place ahead of higher-ranked players such as Rafa Cabrera Bello.

"Sergio's [Ryder Cup] record speaks for itself," said the Northern Irishman.

"But it's the things people don't see - the intangibles such as what he does in the team room - which have got him his pick.

"He has made my Ryder Cup experiences better and has been a great partner for me."

Garcia and McIlroy combined in the fourballs and foursomes to win 1½ points out of three matches at the 2014 victory at Gleneagles and the Spaniard has amassed 22½ points in eight appearances, three points away from beating Sir Nick Faldo's Ryder Cup record of 25.

Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson were 47-year-old Bjorn's other wildcard selections.

They join McIlroy and other automatic qualifiers Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm, Alex Noren and Thorbjorn Olesen in the team to face the United States in France.

"With the five rookies we have, experience will be a big thing," McIlroy added.

"Paul, Ian and Henrik were certain [to be selected] and then it was between Sergio, Rafa [Cabrera Bello] and maybe Matt Fitzpatrick.

"In the end, Sergio's experience was important."

Garcia this week defended his decision to not compete for automatic qualification by sitting out the Made In Denmark tournament after playing eight weeks out of the previous 10.

The three-day Ryder Cup starts on 28 September at Le Golf National in Paris.

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