The Ryder Cup qualifying process is a two-year slog of earning points with hopes of becoming one of the 17 automatic qualifiers for 24 combined spots between the U.S. and European teams.
The qualifying system is different for both teams, with eight American players automatically earning spots based on a points list, while nine Europeans make the team based on results from two separate points lists.
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Let's dig into the Ryder Cup points system, explaining how these players are named to each team.
2016 Ryder Cup U.S. qualifying system
For the American team, captained by Davis Love III, the points system runs the qualifying period, which is from March 8, 2015, or the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Championship, to Aug. 28, 2016, or the end of The Barclays 2016. Along the way, players have earned points at selected events based on money earned.
- 1 points per $1,000 earned in the 2015 major championships
- 1 points per $2,000 earned in the 2015 World Golf Championships and The Players Championship
- 1 points per $1,000 earned in regular PGA Tour events (excluding opposite-field events)
- 2 points per $1,000 earned in the 2016 major championships
At the conclusion of qualifying, Love will make four captain's picks. Three will be made at the conclusion of the BMW Championship, which ends Sept. 11, 2016. The fourth pick will be made at the conclusion of the Tour Championship on Sept. 25, 2016.
2016 Ryder Cup European qualifying system
For the European team, captained by Darren Clarke, there are two points systems, both beginning on Sept. 3, 2015, and ending on Aug. 28, 2016 at the conclusion of the European Tour's Made in Denmark and the PGA Tour's The Barclays. Only European Tour members can qualify for the European Ryder Cup team, and only points earned while a European Tour member count toward the standings.
The first four of nine automatic qualifiers will come from the European Points List, which is based on points earned in European Tour-sanctioned events, where 1 point is earned for each Euro of official prize money, excluding Race to Dubai bonus money. Ties would be broken by players' standing on the current 2016 Race to Dubai rankings.
Then the other five automatic qualifiers, not already qualified through the Points List, are drawn from the World Points List, which is based on the Official World Golf Ranking points earned from the start of the qualifying period until the conclusion of the European Tour's Made in Denmark and the PGA Tour's The Barclays.
At the conclusion of qualifying, Clarke will make three captain's picks, set for Aug. 30, 2016.
2016 European Ryder Cup team standings
European Points List
As of Aug. 28
1. Rory McIlroy - 4,171,716
2. Danny Willett - 4,059,361
3. Henrik Stenson - 3,554,055
4. Chris Wood - 2,593,023
World Points List
As of Aug. 21
1. Sergio Garcia (4) - 207.95
2. Rafa Cabrera-Bello (5) - 179.42
3. Justin Rose (6) - 173.09
4. Andy Sullivan (8) - 153.80
5. Matt Fitzpatrick (9) - 153.58