Rory McIlroy questions Ryder Cup process

2016 09 Rory Mc Ilroy

• Rory McIlroy questions Ryder Cup qualifying process

• Believes it should be 12 best Europeans that make the team

• Feels for Knox & Casey - both of who won't be playing


Rory McIlroy has questioned the qualification process for the Ryder Cup – reiterating his belief that it should be the 12 best Europeans who make the team.

The four-time major winner, who enters this week’s BMW Championship off the back of a stunning comeback victory at TPC Boston, highlighted the examples of PGA Tour players Russell Knox and Paul Casey – the sixth and ninth best European players in the world rankings when Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke completed his team last Tuesday.

"I've always said it should be the best 12 Europeans" - Rory McIlroy

Casey, of course, took the decision not to take up European Tour membership, meaning there was no way of him qualifying for the team, while Knox narrowly missed out on a captain’s pick but would have been in the team automatically had he been a member of the European Tour when he won the WGC-HSBC Champions in November.

Read more -> Casey's Ryder Cup snub 'left a scar' - Rose


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“I've always said it should be the best 12 Europeans regardless of whether they're a member of a tour or not,” said Rory McIlroy. “I think that's the hard thing. If Russell had been a member of the Tour when he won in China, he makes the team.

"If it's not that important to Paul Casey, then so be it" - Rory McIlroy

“Paul's obviously playing well – but it's a personal decision on his part. He wants to spend more time in the States and doesn't feel like he can play both tours and play two schedules. And that's very understandable.

“Some tournaments and some things are more important to people than they are to others. I wouldn't want to miss the Ryder Cup because it's very important to me, but if it's not that important to Paul Casey, then so be it, that's his opinion and his decision and he should stand by that.”

Read more -> Russell Knox call 'so tough' - Clarke


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But Rory McIlroy understands the importance of the Ryder Cup for the European Tour and is hopeful that, in future, the Ryder Cup isn’t the sole reason why US-based players are going back to play on the European Tour.

“The Ryder Cup is a huge, a huge reason and a huge carrot for guys to go back and play on the European Tour,” added the 27-year-old. “But I think with Keith Pelley in charge now and what he's doing, hopefully going forward the Ryder Cup isn't the only reason why guys are going to go back and play.

"I'm sure Russell feels very hard done by it" - Rory McIlroy

“Russell Knox, David Lingmerth and other guys joined this year to try and do just that, but it should be the USA versus Europe not the European Tour versus – well the PGA Tour aren't really involved – so what do you do?

“It's hard. I'm sure Russell feels very hard done by it, because he's had such a great year but I still feel like the 12 guys that we have on the team are very capable and we have a great chance of winning it.”

Rory McIlroy :: Do you agree?

Do you agree with Rory McIlroy that the Ryder Cup qualification procedure should be changed? Leave your thoughts in the 'Comments' section below.

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