European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley will hand-pick three players to round out his dozen-man squad that will take on Tom Watson’s American charges at Gleneagles in 2014.
The European Tour, which runs the Ryder Cup for the European side, announced McGinley’s decision on Tuesday, the same day the game’s governing bodies made public their decision to enact an anchoring ban proposed last November.
The Irishman added an additional pick compared to what predecessor Jose Maria Olazabal had for his victorious team at Medinah last fall. Colin Montgomerie, however, did have three captain’s picks for the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.
Nine players will automatically qualify for McGinley’s team, with the first four coming from the Ryder Cup European points list, while the remaining five will come from the Ryder Cup World Points list. Giving priority to top earners from the European points list is a decision Olazabal first made, with McGinley upholding it.
In the 18 Ryder Cups which will have been played since 1979 (when players from continental Europe could first be included on the team), the European captain will have selected three wild cards on seven occasions (1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 2010 and 2014) and two wild cards on 10 occasions (1979, 1981, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2012). The only departure from this came in 1983 when all 12 European team members were taken directly from the European Tour money list.