The PGA of America has announced that US Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker will be given SIX picks for this year’s match at Whistling Straits - assuming it still goes ahead.
The American skipper was originally expected to be able to choose four players to complete his 12-man team.
However, with the coronavirus pandemic having caused 11 PGA Tour events to be cancelled, three majors pushed back to the autumn and the Open scrubbed from the schedule altogether, Stricker has been allowed more of a say in the make-up of his team.
Qualifying for the team will now run up until the BMW Championship at the end of August, with the top six players on the US points list after that event automatically earning a spot on the team.
Stricker will then complete the line-up on either September 2/3.
“With all the various changes to the 2020 schedule, it quickly became apparent that we would need to amend our selection criteria,” said the US captain. “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.”
At present, Stricker’s European counterpart Padraig Harrington has three picks for his team and said last month that there’s “no scenario” whereby he could pick all 12 players himself. It is not yet clear if there will be any changes to the European qualifying system.
It is also still to be determined whether or not this year’s Ryder Cup will take place. Many of the game’s top players have voiced their opposition to playing the match behind-closed-doors, with Stricker himself dismissing the suggestion last week. However, the current position remains that it is going ahead as scheduled from September 25-27.
US Ryder Cup qualifying – As it stands
1. Brooks Koepka
2. Dustin Johnson
3. Patrick Reed
4. Gary Woodland
5. Xander Schauffele
6. Webb Simpson
7. Justin Thomas
8. Tiger Woods
9. Tony Finau
10. Matt Kuchar
11. Bryson DeChambeau
12. Patrick Cantlay