Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

McGinley opts for three wild cards

Paul McGinley will select three players to complete his 12-man European squad
Paul McGinley will select three players to complete his 12-man European squad

Europe captain Paul McGinley has announced he will have three wild cards for next year's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

His predecessor Jose Maria Olazabal had just two selections to make for the 2012 match against the United States at Medinah, when he selected Nicolas Colsaerts and Ian Poulter.

However, McGinley will be given more of an opportunity to tailor his side with the addition of the third wild card, which means nine automatic qualifying places will be available for the 12-man team, four via the European Tour points list and five from the world points list.

The European points list comprises points gained by players from all Race to Dubai tournaments during the qualification process - which starts at the Wales Open from September 5-8 - with one point equalling one euro.

The world points list comprises official world golf ranking points gained in sanctioned tournaments around the world during qualifying.

The decision brings McGinley in line with American counterpart Tom Watson, who announced in March that he was reducing his number of picks from four to three.

"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 proposal received unanimous backing from the European Tour's Tournament Committee during their meeting at Wentworth 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 (Jose Maria Olazabal) 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."

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