The 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup qualifying system and points distribution schedule has been announced, and captain Jim Furyk has tweaked the system to place an emphasis on winning over high finishes.
U.S. Ryder Cup qualifying will begin with the WGC-Mexico Championship, with only the four World Golf Championships, The Players Championship and the four majors offering Ryder Cup points in 2017. In the four majors, players will earn one Ryder Cup point per $1,000 earned. In the WGCs and at The Players, players will earn one Ryder Cup point per $2,000. Pretty standard stuff.
Like usual, in the Ryder Cup year, the availability of points increases. Starting Jan. 1, 2018 and going through the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club near St. Louis, all PGA Tour events that are not opposite-field tournaments will earn points. In those non-major events, players will earn one Ryder Cup point per $1,000 earned. At the majors, the winner will earn two Ryder Cup points per $1,000 earned, while everyone else who makes the cut will earn 1.5 points per $1,000 earned.
Furyk wanted to downplay a high finish in a major, which are the events with the highest purses, compared to a win in a PGA Tour event with a smaller purse.
“I really value winning,” said Furyk ahead of the 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. “I want the guys that hit shots down the stretch, that have the guts, the fortitude, the game to win golf tournaments. And I find winning very, very important. So, winning a PGA Tour event with a strong field, to me, is more important than finishing third at a major championship.”
After the qualifying period ends at Bellerive, the top eight players will automatically land on team. Furyk will then make three captain's picks after the Dell Technologies Championship, the second FedEx Cup playoff event. The fourth and final pick will not be made after the Tour Championship in 2018 but rather the BMW Championship, the preceding event.
“It gives me three weeks and at least two events, the first two playoff events, to identify three players that I would like to add to the team," Furyk said. "It gives them three more weeks and two more tournaments, the BMW and Tour Championship, for those folks to bond with the team, to play more practice rounds, to go to dinner, to basically be together.”