Padraig Harrington calls for Ryder Cup to go ahead... but there's a twist

Padraig Harrington Captain

Padraig Harrington has called for this year's Ryder Cup to still go ahead as planned - but has suggested that qualifying for the event be scrapped.

Instead, the European captain thinks that he and his American counterpart Steve Stricker should be given the luxury of picking their 12-man teams in their entirety.

As it stands, the match is scheduled to be played at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 25-27. Harrington currently has three picks at his disposal and Stricker four to complete their 12-man teams, the rest selected from a qualifying process.

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However, with the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc on golf's global schedule and top-level men's professional golf on hiatus until at least May 21, Harrington has called for qualifying to be abandoned. 

"We're playing on, if at all possible, because the merit of getting out there and showcasing our sport far outweighs a perfect qualifying system," the Euro skipper told the Daily Mail.

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"It wouldn't worry me if we were the first tournament back and I had to go with 12 picks with no qualifying"In many ways it would be perfect if the Ryder Cup was the first tournament back. Just 12 guys from Europe and 12 guys from America, with no prize money at stake and competing just for the glory.

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"Wouldn't that be a nice way for the sport to start back?"

The selection process for the Ryder Cup players has varied over the years. In the early contests, the teams were generally decided by a selection committee before a qualification system based on performances was introduced. 

The current system, by which most of the team is determined by performances with a small number of players selected by the captain, gradually evolved and has been used by both sides since 1989.

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