The U.S. Ryder Cup team now staggers its wild-card picks until the end of the FedEx Cup.
We can thank Billy Horschel for the show of patience, as in 2014 he won the final two FedEx Cup playoff events (and could have won the Deutsche Bank Championship) before winning the season-long points race and its $10 million prize. Despite that tear, Horschel wasn’t a part of Tom Watson’s Ryder Cup team because Watson’s three picks were made long before Horschel’s tear.
In this cycle, Davis Love III will make three of four captain’s picks on Sept. 11, after the BMW Championship, saving the final pick until the end of the Tour Championship on Sept. 25.
Now, the European side could choose to also wait until the end of the PGA Tour season.
Russell Knox is a two-time winner this season, including the week after the PGA Championship at the Travelers Championship. However, he didn’t land one of Darren Clarke’s three wild-card picks made Tuesday, as the Ulsterman went with buddy Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and long-hitting Belgian Thomas Pieters, who Clarke played with in the Made in Denmark, the final European Tour event in the qualifying cycle.
The Scot Knox lamented that, despite maintaining the requisite European Tour membership to make the European Ryder Cup team, he didn’t have the connections to the Tour that would have likely landed him a pick over Pieters.
“Playing full time in the U.S. probably hurt me, to be honest,” Knox said, according to the Daily Mirror. “I know I joined the European Tour but, correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t think anyone has got a pick for Europe while playing full time in the U.S.”
Clarke seems to agree with that notion and may well back a change to the European wild-card selection schedule to show some deference for Euros who play the bulk of their golf on the PGA Tour — that is, on one condition.
“If Russell was to win the FedEx (Cup), I suppose it might be something the European Tour and future captains might want to look at,” he said. “But as things stand, I’m happy with the choice I’ve made.”