Paul McGinley (Getty Images)
European Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley has announced he will have three wild card selections to complete his team for The 2014 Ryder Cup.
It is an increase from the two picks his predecessor José Maria Olazábal opted for before the trip to Medinah last September and will bring McGinley in line with his American counterpart Tom Watson who, in March, announced he was reducing his number of picks from four to three for the contest at The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland in September 2014.
It leaves nine automatic places up for grabs in McGinley’s team, with the first four coming from the Ryder Cup European Points List, while the remaining five will come from the Ryder Cup World Points List.
The Ryder Cup European Points List will comprise points gained by a Member from all Race to Dubai tournaments during the qualification process with one point equalling one euro. The Ryder Cup World Points List will comprise Official World Golf Ranking points gained in officially sanctioned tournaments around the globe during the qualification process. The qualification system will begin at the ISPS Handa Wales Open on The European Tour at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales from August 29-September 2013.
The list order is the same as was in place for the qualification race for The 2012 Ryder Cup but is different to the four previous occasions since the two list system was initiated prior to The 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills. Then, as in 2006, 2008 and 2010, the Ryder Cup World Points List was counted first.
“I have said on a number of occasions that if something ain’t broke then don’t fix it, and I think that applies to the qualification process for the European Ryder Cup team,” said McGinley, whose proposed selection criteria received unanimous backing from the European Tour’s Tournament Committee during their meeting at Wentworth Club on Monday night. “You only need to look at the record books to see that we haven’t done too badly of late so I didn’t see the need to make sweeping changes.
“I’ve kept the qualification list order the same as Olly had it for Medinah, the only difference being that I’ve increased the number of picks from two to three. I’ve done that to give myself a little bit of extra flexibility when it comes to making my selections. Hopefully this will ensure that I have the right players to face the examination paper that Gleneagles will set out next September.”
McGinley’s decision means that, in the 18 Ryder Cups which will have been played between 1979 (when players from Continental Europe joined the fold for the first time) and 2014, the European Captain will have selected three wild cards on seven occasions (1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 2010 and 2014) and two wild cards on ten occasions (1979, 1981, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2012).
The only departure from this came in 1983 when all 12 European team members were taken directly from the Official Money List.