The push to the 2016 Ryder Cup is on.
The venue, Hazeltine National in Minnesota, is set. The captains have been named, with Europe tapping 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke and the U.S. asking Davis Love III to reprise his role from 2012.
The PGA of America is taking a refreshed approach to picking the 12 players and vice-captains, including a new qualifying system that gives the captain more time to identify the hot hands to round out the team.
Here's the skinny:
Moving forward, the U.S. captain will have four vice-captains: two former U.S. captains and two players with significant Ryder Cup experience. So far, Love has tapped 2006 U.S. captain Tom Lehman to join his staff.
Qualifying for the team starts with the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Championship and will end with the 2016 Barclays, two weeks after the previous traditional cutoff of the PGA Championship. Players will earn points based on money earned in specific tournaments as follows:
- 2015 major championships: 1 points per $1,000 in prize money earned
- 2015 World Golf Championships and The Players Championship: 1 point per $2,000 in prize money earned
- 2016 regular PGA Tour events: 1 points per $1,000 in prize money earned (no points for opposite-field events)
- 2016 major championships: 2 points per $1,000 in prize money earned
The top eight point-earners will qualify for the team. Then, after the BMW Championship two weeks later, Love will name three wild-card selections. Then, a week later after the conclusion of the Tour Championship, Love will name his fourth and final pick.