VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley of Ireland announces Stephen Gallacher of Scotland, Ian Poulter of England and Lee Westwood of England as his three captain's picks during a press conference at Wentworth on September 2, 2014 in Virginia Water, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

London – Europe's Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley on Tuesday made his three wildcard picks for Gleneagles, selecting Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher.

But there was no place for former world number one Luke Donald, despite being ranked higher in the world than the three chosen ahead of him to complete the 12-strong team.

Already assured of a place in the European team for the September 26-28 showdown with the Americans in Scotland were Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Victor Dubuisson Jamie Donaldson, Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell.

That means that McGinley has at his disposal four of the top five ranking players in the world in McIlroy, Stenson, Garcia and Rose – all of whom have past Ryder Cup experience – along with three rookies in Dubuisson, Donaldson and Gallacher.

In all there are seven players who retain their place from the team that two years ago in Chicago staged the greatest final day comeback in Ryder Cup history to defeat the Americans 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.

The five changes involve Gallacher, Donaldson, Dubuisson, Stenson and Thomas Bjorn replacing Donald, Peter Hanson, Paul Lawrie, Nicholas Colsaerts, and Francesco Molinari.

US skipper Tom Watson will announce his three wildcard picks in New York later on Tuesday with the certainty that they will not include Tiger Woods who is unavailable through injury.

Europe have won five out of the last six Ryder Cups and will start strong favourites once again in Gleneagles with the biennial inter-continental showdown returning to Scotland for the first time in 31 years. -AFP