Golf

Change to Ryder Cup selection

2011-02-09 14:01
Jose Maria Olazabal (File)

Dubai - Europe's Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain will have just two wildcard picks for next year's defence of the trophy in the United States down from the three Colin Montgomerie had in 2010.

In a further amendment to the qualification criteria, the leading five players from the European Points List will be given priority for selection followed by the leading five players from the World Points list.

This reverses the format in 2010 when the World Points List was taken into account in the first instance.

Olazabal, who was named as Montgomerie's successor last month said that he had been instrumental in crafting the selection process changes.

"I am very pleased that the Tournament Committee has agreed to my request," the Spaniard said.

"The only reason that I asked for a change in the criteria is because I believe that it will give me the strongest team possible to defend The Ryder Cup.

"I looked over the last few qualification processes, going back to 2004, and was satisfied that my proposal would give me the strongest team on paper.

"We are going to have a very strong team, but I just felt that this would give the team the best chance to keep The Ryder Cup and that is what we all want.

"At the end of the day, it is the players who are the stars and it is the players who hit the shots and win the points to win The Ryder Cup."

Wildcard selection can prove a headache for captains as was the case for Montgomerie before Celtic Manor, Wales last year when he opted not to pick top players Paul Casey and Justin Rose.

The qualification criteria will begin at the European Masters at Crans-Sur-Sierre from September 1-4, 2011, and end at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2012 shortly before the Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club, Chicago, Illinois, from September 28-30.

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