In a surprising but fair move, Ryder Cup US Captain, Tom Watson, elected to reduce the number of picks from four down to three, stating “Giving our players one more opportunity to earn a spot on merit, I believe, is the right thing to do.”
According to Golf.com, Watson said Wednesday he would take the top nine players off the Ryder Cup standings and select three players as captain’s picks. For the last three matches, only eight Americans qualified for the team and the U.S. captain had four picks.
If nine players had qualified in recent years, Hunter Mahan would have made the team in 2012. Mahan was leading the points list in early April and then hit such a bad stretch of golf that he finished at No. 9 and was overlooked as a captain’s pick.
Anthony Kim missed three months of the 2010 season and slipped to No. 9 in the standings. He would have made the team under this system of three picks.
In 2008, Steve Stricker was No. 9 in the standings, though he was such an obvious captain’s pick that he was involved in choosing the other picks for Azinger’s team under the captain’s unique “pods” system.
The next Ryder Cup is in 2014 at Gleneagles Golf Resort in Scotland, UK (website has a nifty countdown clock… as I write this, 553 days until the event!). US players can already start accruing Ryder Cup points at the Masters next month. Only earnings from the majors will count this year, while money from all PGA Tour events – with an emphasis on the majors – will count in 2014.
This is a fair move… hope the American’s can stop their losing streak. USA ALL THE WAY!!!!