London - European captain Padraig Harrington has decided to cut his wild card selections from four to three for next year's Ryder Cup in the United States.
Nine of Harrington's players will qualify automatically for the 2020 Ryder Cup
at Whistling Straits as a result of points earned on the European Tour
- a process that will start with the 2019 PGA Championship at
Wentworth, southwest of London and finish at the 2020 edition of the
Harrington will then select three wild cards to complete his team for
Europe's defence of the team golf trophy they won in commanding style
in Paris last year.
"I have said on many occasions that one of the reasons for recent European success in the Ryder Cup is continuity," Harrington explained in a tour statement issued on Wednesday.
"It is a theme that will be prevalent across my captaincy and I think
you can see that in the overall qualification process for the 2020
team," the Irishman added.
"Having said that, I am pleased that the (European Tour) tournament committee agreed to the change of wild card numbers.
"I have spoken to a number of people regarding the ninth player
automatically qualifying for the team and in my experience, a player is
more comfortable when he has qualified, hence my reasoning behind this
change," the three-time major winner explained.
"I am also delighted to be starting and ending the process at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
"It is one of our most prestigious events, played at an iconic venue
and the home of the European Tour itself, and will help give a real
narrative to the qualification race," he said.