Darren Clarke opts against change to Ryder Cup qualifiying
European captain to keep three wild cards for 2016 edition at Hazeltine
European captain Darren Clarke will keep three wildcard selections for the 2016 Ryder Cup. Photograph: Getty
European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke has resisted the temptation to make any changes to the qualifying system for next year’s Ryder Cup, which will get under way at the M2M Russian Open on September 3rd.
Clarke had hinted in March that he was more likely to reduce his wild cards from three to two rather than increase them, but has decided to keep the same format used to determine the team for Gleneagles in 2014.
That means nine players will qualify automatically, with the first four coming from the European Points List — based on points gained in European Tour events — and five from the World Points List — based on world ranking points gained globally — with Clarke then selecting three wild cards.
“I gave it a lot of thought,” Clarke said during a press conference ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open on Tuesday. “I went into comparisons of what teams would have been like under different systems but my overall feeling was that with the team Paul (McGinley) assembled at Gleneagles and how successful they were, it would have been very foolish to make any changes.
“This signals the start of what I know will be an intense and exciting period for me personally and for everyone involved with the European Tour.
“The qualification period is a truly global affair now and many of the players that will make the team will do so by playing in many tournaments around the world.
“However, as I said when I was announced as captain, I’m focused on assembling the best team possible to represent Europe and I think this system gives me the opportunity to do just that.”
The last counting event has yet to be determined but is traditionally held at the end of August, with the Ryder Cup itself taking place from September 30th to October 2nd at Hazeltine in Minnesota.