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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.

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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. 

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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

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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