The changes, which were ratified at the European Tour’s tournament committee in Abu Dhabi last night, include a huge emphasis on the new Rolex Series and lean more towards captain Thomas Bjorn being able to pick form players for Paris.
In short, the changes are:
• Membership criteria of the European Tour to be dropped from five tournaments to four tournaments (outside majors and WGCs) for the 2018 season.
• Ryder Cup qualification points will be multiplied by 1.5 for tournaments later in the qualification process in order to try and get more form players. The starting point for this will be the BMW PGA Championship in 2018.
• No Ryder Cup qualification points will be available from tournaments staged anywhere in the world opposite Rolex Series tournaments in both 2017 and 2018 – putting pressure on US-based players to come back and play to boost their chances of qualifying.
• Qualification for the 2018 team to change to four players from the Ryder Cup European Points List, four from the Ryder Cup World Points List and four wildcard picks for captain Bjorn.
• Players must be a member of the European Tour to be eligible to play for Europe.
• Players cannot be a European Ryder Cup captain or a vice-captain if they decline membership of the European Tour or fail to fulfil their minimum event obligation in any season, from 2018 onwards.
The starting point for qualification for the 2018 Ryder Cup will be the D+D Real Czech Masters at the Albatross Golf Resort in Prague from August 31-September 3, 2017.
Bjorn said: “I am delighted that the tournament committee passed these regulations which I believe will considerably benefit the European Ryder Cup team in 2018 without compromising the strength or importance of the European Tour.
“In my role as chairman of the tournament committee for the past ten years and now as Ryder Cup captain, I fully appreciate the need to balance both of these essential elements, and I think we have managed to do that.
Because of his new role, Bjorn has stood down as chairman of the tournament committee – a position he held since 2007 – with former Ryder Cup player David Howell unanimously voted as his successor.