US Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker will now have six wild-card picks to make to round out the 2020 US Ryder Cup team.
The PGA of America announced June 10 changes to the qualification criteria for the 12-man team that will compete against the Padraig Harrington-led European side from Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
There will continue to be a Ryder Cup points list, with the top six American players on that list automatically earning a spot on the team. The points earned in 2019 and through March 2020 will continue to be recognized. Players will continue to earn points based on money earned in regular PGA Tour events (1 points for $1,000 earned) through the BMW Championship in August.
At the PGA Championship, the lone 2020 major to be played before the cutoff, the winner will get 2 points per $1,000 earned, while everyone else will get 1.5 points per $1,000 earned.
Previously, the top eight players on the points list would earn automatic berths, while Stricker would have four wild-card picks. Stricker will now make his six captain’s picks on Sept. 2 or 3, after the conclusion of the BMW Championship.
The changes were made as a result of the cancellation of 11 PGA Tour events in response to the pandemic.
“With all the various changes to the 2020 schedule, it quickly became apparent that we would need to amend our selection criteria,” said Stricker.
“After many deliberate discussions, we collectively agreed that a smaller sampling of 2020 events — including just one major championship — would justify a one-week extension of the qualification window and an increase in the number of Captain’s selections from four to six. These changes were sparked by circumstance, but conceived with integrity in mind. In the end, we believe they will allow us to put our best team together to compete at Whistling Straits in September.”
A similar change to qualification criteria is expected for the European side, with the European Tour not returning until late July 22 as part of a revised 2020 European Tour schedule.
This announcement seems to signal the PGA of America and European Tour have ever intention of putting on the event — with or without fans in attendance. Several players on both sides have said they don’t see the value or point of having a Ryder Cup without fans, but the financial implications of not playing the competition are huge for both parties.