Europe captain Luke Donald will have an unprecedented total of six wild cards available for next year’s Ryder Cup in Rome.
That’s double the number Padraig Harrington picked for last year’s game in Whistling Straits, where his opponent Steve Stricker got a six before the home team’s record 19-9 win.
Qualifying begins next week at the BMW PGA Championship and ends September 3, 2023, three weeks before the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.
The six automatic qualifiers consist of the top three players on the European Points List, followed by the top three players on the World Points List.
Harrington’s wildcards were named hours after the end of the last qualifying tournament, the BMW PGA Championship. Twelve days later, the Ryder Cup started in Wisconsin.
Bernd Wiesberger’s tie for 20th place at Wentworth secured his place at the expense of Shane Lowry, who received a wild card along with Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter when Justin Rose missed.
Another change agreed by Donald, vice-captains Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari and the DP World Tour Tournament Committee sees a change in the points allocation for the European points table.
In previous years, the ratio between the highest and lowest ranked events on the DP World Tour was 6:1. Under the new system, this is reduced to a factor of 4:1.
In a statement, Donald said: “These changes to the Team Europe qualification process follow an in-depth analysis with the team at Ryder Cup Europe and with Thomas and Edoardo.
“I am pleased that when we presented our thoughts to the tournament committee, they stood behind them 100 percent.
“The revised overall process eliminates the need for point multipliers in the final months of qualifying and the six picks give me the flexibility to ensure we have the strongest line-up at Marco Simone in terms of in-form players, players with Ryder Cup experience and potential pairings.
“Regarding the European points list, the change in points distribution will give DP World Tour members who primarily play on the DP World Tour an improved chance of making the Ryder Cup team through one of the now three spots available on that list .
“We also brought the end of the qualification phase forward to give the players the right preparation time once they made it into the team.
“A lot of work has already been done behind the scenes but in many ways the start of the qualifying campaign marks the true beginning of the Ryder Cup journey so I am pleased to be able to confirm these details.
“We are all focused on reclaiming the Ryder Cup in Rome next September and this qualifying system gives us the best opportunity to do just that.”
Qualifying points are not available for tournaments scheduled against a Rolex Series event on the DP World Tour.
It remains to be seen whether players from LIV Golf will be eligible for the team as three DP World Tour members – including Ian Poulter – successfully obtained a temporary stay of their suspension from the Scottish Open in July pending a decision on their substantive appeals in February.
That means the likes of Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood will be in the field at Wentworth, but chances are they’ll receive a wild card from Donald – who succeeded Henrik Stenson when the Swede joined LIV – if they don’t automatically qualify, it would appear slim.
In a memo to players seen by the Golf Channel, DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley said there was “strong opposition” to the LIV players and while they would not be given awkward tee times at Wentworth, “they will.” will not be required to play in Pro-Am and will not be in TV Featured Groups”.