Rory McIlroy has backed the decision to have Thomas Pieters in Europe's Ryder Cup golf team, as one of the Darren Clarke’s three wild card picks.
In addition to the widely expected inclusions of Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, Clarke elected to choose the Belgian following his European Tour win in Denmark last weekend.
— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) August 31, 2016
Pieters' inclusion comes ahead of Russell Knox - despite the Scot having a much higher ranking.
McIlroy says he has sympathy for those who missed out, but backed his fellow countryman’s call.
“I wouldn’t have liked to be in Darren’s shoes,” McIlroy said. “There was a tough choice to be made.
“Thomas I think will be a great addition to the team.”
The four-time major winner is keen to get Europe’s defence of the Ryder Cup underway.
“I’m excited. Obviously there’s a few weeks to go but I’m excited about the prospect of trying to win a fourth (Ryder Cup).