Posted on 14 February 2011.
Jose Maria Olazabal, the Captain of the European Team for the 2012 Ryder Cup, due to be held at Medinah Country Club in Chicago, has exercised his prerogative to amend the selection criteria for Europe’s attempt to retain the trophy once again.
I feel that he has been quite cute in reversing the main criteria from the World Points list to the European Points list and reducing his number of Captain’s picks from three to two. Many observers were of the opinion that the Captain should have more picks, rather than less and that, had this been the case, then England’s Paul Casey would have been present at Celtic Manor in 2010. However, ‘Chema’ has looked back over the years and feels that his decision will help, rather than hinder his selection of the strongest team possible.
The full text of the Press Release is as follows;
TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES CHANGE TO RYDER CUP QUALIFICATION PROCESS
After consultation with European Team Ryder Cup Captain José Maria Olazábal, The European Tour Tournament Committee is pleased to announce a modified qualification procedure for The 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club, Chicago, Illinois, from September 28-30, 2012.
The qualification criteria, beginning at the Omega European Masters at Crans-Sur-Sierre from September 1-4, 2011, and ending at the conclusion of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2012, will now see the leading five players from the European Points List joined by the leading five players from the World Points List as automatic qualifiers to the European Team. This represents a reversal of the two lists with the European Points List counting before the World Points List.
Olazábal will then add two Captain’s Picks to complete the 12-man team that will defend The Ryder Cup against the United States at Medinah Country Club.
Chema and a resurgent Sergio
Olazábal said: “I am very pleased that the Tournament Committee has agreed to my request. The only reason that I asked for a change in the criteria is because I believe that it will give me the strongest team possible to defend The Ryder Cup.
“I looked over the last few qualification processes, going back to 2004, and was satisfied that my proposal would give me the strongest team on paper. We are going to have a very strong team but I just felt that this would give the team the best chance to keep The Ryder Cup and that is what we all want.
“At the end of the day, it is the players who are the stars and it is the players who hit the shots and win the points to win The Ryder Cup. I would like to thank the committee for their support and I hope that this is the first step to us retaining The Ryder Cup in 2012.”
Qualification Criteria for The 2012 European Ryder Cup Team
Qualification for The 2012 European Ryder Cup Team will be selected employing the following criteria:-
(a) The leading five players on The Ryder Cup European Points List (1) at the conclusion of the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. In the event of a tie (equal number of points accumulated), placings will be decided by the player with the higher ranking on The 2012 Race to Dubai at the conclusion of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
(b) The leading five players, not otherwise qualified (having selected the five players from The Ryder Cup European Points List) from The Ryder Cup World Points List (2) at the conclusion of the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. In the event of a tie (equal number of points accumulated), placings will be decided by the player with the higher ranking on the Official World Golf Ranking.
(c) The Captain, José Maria Olazábal, will choose the remaining two players following the conclusion of the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
(1) The Ryder Cup European Points List will comprise points (1 point = 1 Euro) earned by a European Tour Member from all officially sanctioned European Tour tournaments on The European Tour Race to Dubai from September 1, 2011 until the conclusion of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2012.
(2) The Ryder Cup World Points List will comprise World Ranking Points won by a European Tour Member from each tournament in which he participates from September 1, 2011 until the conclusion of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2012. World Ranking Points are allocated to all officially sanctioned tournaments (on any Federated Tour) by the Official World Golf Ranking and are allocated according to the Event Rating of the tournament.
End of Press Release
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