Europe captain to pick 3 for Ryder Cup, up from 2

Paul McGinley is Europe’s captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup.

VIRGINIA WATER, England -- European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has gone back to the future to try to retain next year’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, Scotland. McGinley has opted for an extra wild card pick, and will select three next year instead of the two that Jose Maria Olazabal had last year.

Three picks isn’t new. Many past European captains had three selections and, after much analysis, McGinley said that’s the best system to help Europe win the Cup.

“I looked at so many different areas and went through all of the statistics and the history of Ryder Cups and what worked, what didn’t work,” McGinley said. “My heartfelt view is if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. So everything has remained in place that Jose Maria had – his criteria – with one exception: I will be having three picks rather than two.

“That is the criteria I feel is the best to result in the strongest players in the Ryder Cup next year.

“I feel that by giving myself an extra pick, it’s a little bit of wiggle room.”

The Dubliner researched every points table going back to 1979, spending countless hours looking at various dynamics.

Next year’s team will consist of the top five Europeans off the Official World Golf Ranking and the top four off the European Ryder Cup points table. By taking one place away from the European points list, McGinley is admitting that Europe’s strongest players no longer play most of their golf full-time on the European Tour.

“It’s something that weighs heavily on me being a member of the committee,” he said. “We need players to play (here) more often. My job here is to identify the strongest 12 players to represent Europe. It’s not about the process. It’s about identifying the top 12 players.

“Like it or not, we have to acknowledge the fact that most of our players are now based in America, playing on the PGA Tour.”

However, the Irishman gave assistance to those players who ply their trade full time on the European Tour. He will not shut the door on players who play week-i, week-out on the European circuit.

“I don’t want anybody to think, ‘Oh, I’m not in the top 50 of the world, I can’t make the Ryder Cup team. Far from it. We have huge depth in talent on the European Tour and a lot who are well capable of playing for Europe in the Ryder Cup.”

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