Q&A: Euro Tour’s Richard Hills

Miguel Angel Jimenez and Richard Hills

Miguel Angel Jimenez and Richard Hills

Two months after the Europeans edged the U.S. in a rain-delayed Ryder Cup in Wales, thoughts are turning toward the 2012 renewal of the biennial matches at Medinah near Chicago. Richard Hills, the European Tour’s Ryder Cup director, recently sat with Golfweek to discuss Europe’s outlook:

Q. When will you sit down to review the recent Ryder Cup?

A. Internally, it’s an ongoing process. Externally, with our partnership with the PGA of America, the first formal meeting will probably be in Augusta, at the Masters, when we will sit down with George O’Grady (European Tour chief executive), Sandy Jones (British Professional Golfers’ Association) and Joe Steranka (PGA of America) and his officials to talk things through.

Q. What will the likely topics of discussion be?

A. The format is something we will look at. Obviously, the debate about players sitting out or everyone playing all five sessions is an ongoing discussion. We had one session in Wales where everyone played. It wasn’t taken lightly, and changing the format won’t be taken lightly. It will be done in consultation.

Q. What lessons did you learn from Wales?

A. That we were very unlucky with the weather. We had a month’s rainfall in a few days, and we can’t legislate for that.

Q. Any plans to change the points system?

A. That’s a question for Thomas (Bjorn) and the tournament committee. Next tournament committee meeting is in Abu Dhabi (Jan. 20-23), and they will run the numbers and look at it afresh.

Q. Do you think they will announce the 2012 captain that week?

A. Again, that’s a decision for Thomas and the tournament committee. They will make the best choice possible and at the right time.

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