On Wednesday, Team U.S.A. Captain Jim Furyk announced some key changes to the Ryder Cup qualifying and Captain’s Pick selection process. The main tweak entails the selection dates of the four picks. Last year, captain Davis Love III made three captains picks after the first playoff event and his final pick after the Tour Championship, which ended just five days before the first competitive day of the Ryder Cup. After this latest round of changes, three of Furyk’s selections will come after the second FedEx Cup playoff event, the Dell Technologies Championship. The final pick will be made a week later after the BMW Championship.
According to a press conference Furyk had at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the previous system with the last minute pick would not work for 2018 in Paris.
“We had great intentions and they worked out really well,” Furyk said of the late pick in 2016. “Looking to the future, that’s something we don’t have the opportunity to do going to Paris.”
“It’s obvious that we can’t wait until after the Tour Championship to make a pick,” Furyk said. “We have passports, travel to Europe and I feel like the timing, we probably want to get it done a little earlier and not put those guys through that at the Tour Championship again,” he said. “I think it’s wise, as well, for the captains to be discussing parings on the night before we leave, rather than who our next captain’s pick is going to be.”
“We saved that one pick for after the BMW to identify a hot player, if we have one,” Furyk continued. “I think that still gives them the opportunity two weeks to prepare for the Ryder Cup, but it also gives them one week at the Tour Championship to be welcomed by their teammates and to be incorporated into the team and all the conversations.”
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The other distinctive change discussed affects the qualifying points system. Major wins in 2018 will be worth the same as previous years (two points instead of one for every $1,000 earned). All other players who make the cut will get 1.5 points per $1,000 earned, a decrease from 2 points per $1,000 earned for the 2016 Ryder Cup.
“If you finished third in a major championship, you earned more points than a winner in a PGA Tour event,” Furyk said. “And I really value winning. I want the guys that hit shots down the stretch, that have the guts, the fortitude, the game to win golf tournaments. And I find winning very, very important. So winning a PGA Tour event with a strong field, to me, is more important than finishing third at a major championship.”
Lastly, the eight players who automatically qualify on points will be determined at the end of the 2018 PGA Championship, as opposed to after the first FedEx Cup Playoff event like they did in 2016.
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