McGinley looking to tailor his team

Players with good form at Gleneagles and experience of playing in bad weather will rank “very highly” in the list of contenders for one of European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley’s three wild cards.

McGinley looking to tailor his team

Players with good form at Gleneagles and experience of playing in bad weather will rank “very highly” in the list of contenders for one of European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley’s three wild cards.

McGinley announced today he had increased the number of wild cards available from two to three for next year’s contest, meaning nine places will be taken by qualifiers – the first four from the European points list and five from the world points list.

“We have acknowledged that most of our strong players in the top 50 in the world are based on the PGA Tour and I want to get a combination of that and I want to get guys who are representing and playing well on the European Tour,” McGinley told a press conference ahead of this week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

“I want them to have an opportunity to make the team because it’s virtually impossible if you’re not in the top 50. Edoardo Molinari in 2010 had an incredible year on the European Tour (winning twice), yet didn’t make the points list and had to rely on a pick.

“I think in the big scheme of things it’s going to help the European Tour because guys who do show a lot of form on the European Tour, I’m going to be watching very closely and they are going to rank very highly with a possible opportunity of a pick.

“The big determining factor was that the examination paper at Gleneagles is quite different than it was at Medinah (where McGinley was a vice-captain to Jose Maria Olazabal).

“We don’t know what the weather is going to be like. There could be waterproofs, there could be rain, there could be sunshine. I have to be mindful of all those aspects when I’m tailoring the team and this is why I feel I need a little bit of wiggle room to make sure that I can lean the team in that direction with people who will be comfortable in playing in all of those elements should we come across them.

“One of the criteria will be history on the golf course, how many times they have played it and if they won or performed well around it. I’m a great believer in horses for courses.”

The European Points list comprises points gained in all Race to Dubai tournaments during the qualification process – which starts at the Wales Open from August 29 – with one point equalling one euro. The world 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,” added 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.”

Olazabal’s two wild cards at Medinah were Ian Poulter and Nicolas Colsaerts, while the last captain to have three wild cards was Colin Montgomerie at Celtic Manor in 2010. He chose Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington and Edoardo Molinari, with Paul Casey and Justin Rose controversially missing out and learning of their fate while playing a tournament in America.

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