The European Tour is celebrating next year's 100th French Open by boosting the Ryder Cup points on offer, as well the purse.
The tour announced this week that the winner of the 2016 Alstom Open de France will earn 64 points towards the Ryder Cup World Points List and 1 million points on the European Points List. Points will be proportionally increased for players who make the cut at Le Golf National in Paris, site of the 2018 Ryder Cup.
The European Ryder Cup team will comprise, first, the top four players on the European Points List, which counts each European Tour dollar earned as a point from Sept. 3, 2015 to Aug. 28, 2016, then the top five players on the World Points List, which counts all Official World Golf Ranking points earned by players from Sept. 3, 2015 to Aug. 7, 2016, as well on Aug. 21 and in the Made in Denmark event on Aug. 28. Captain Darren Clarke will round out the team with three wild-card picks.
The prize pool will also be increased from €3 million in 2015 to €3.5 million for 2016.
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The tour is also encouraging its top players to compete in the event by counting participation in the French Open as two events toward the tour's new membership rules, which have been changed for 2016, requiring players to compete in five European Tour events outside of the four majors and four World Golf Championships tournaments.
The decision comes in the wake of the European Tour's decision not to co-sanction the 2016 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, whose date was moved up from its traditional pre-PGA Championship August date to accommodate golf's return to the Olympic program in Rio de Janeiro.