Sergio Garcia expects change for Europe's next Ryder Cup team
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 27/01/16 12:26pm
Sergio Garcia expects to see a much-changed European Ryder Cup side at Hazeltine from the one which retained the trophy two years ago.
he world No 12 gets his new season under way by appearing at this week's Qatar Masters, where a number of the players in action will be hopeful of making Darren Clarke's team this autumn.
British Masters champion Matt Fitzpatrick, last week's Abu Dhabi runner-up Thomas Pieters and Austria's Bernd Wiesberger all feature in Doha, where Chris Wood and Irish Open winner Soren Kjeldsen are also involved
Garcia has appeared in six of the past seven Ryder Cups, registering two-and-a-half points in Europe's Gleneagles victory in 2014, with the 36-year-old fully expected to be part of the European team again this time around.
Europe will chase a fourth consecutive win and a seventh from their past eight tournaments, but Garcia believes the visitors will head Stateside with a number of rookies in their side.
"I would probably expect to see at least four or five new faces," Garcia said. "That's the way it looks at the moment.
"You never know as the year goes by, but at the moment there's probably at least between three and five young players that could be on that team in September.
"Matt Fitzpatrick has a good chance of making the team. He has been playing very well and has got a lot of potential. I played with him and he looks like the kind of player that could definitely make the team."
Garcia, who won here in 2014 and was runner-up the year before, has been grouped alongside Fitzpatrick and defending champion Branden Grace for the opening two rounds, while Louis Oosthuizen features with Ernie Els and Thongchai Jaidee
The Spaniard ended last year on a high by following victory on the Asian Tour's Ho Tram Open by finishing in a tie for fourth at the Thailand Golf Championship, with Garcia now looking to build on his impressive record in Doha and make a strong start to 2016.
"It's not going to be easy but the course looks in very, very good shape and you know, it's always a good week to start my year," Garcia added. "I'm obviously looking forward to it.
"The golf course kind of caught my eye the first time I played it and I've played it pretty much every year since.
"I obviously like what I see out there, and when you can play on one of those courses that you feel comfortable, usually you seem to do fairly well."
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