European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has announced his decision to opt for three wild card picks in 2014. Traditionally, European captains have used only two wild card selections, but McGinley will bring himself in line with US captain Tom Watson for the matches at Gleneagles, Scotland.
The popular Dubliner, who has three Ryder Cup appearances to his credit, made the announcement at Wentworth on Tuesday ahead of the European Tour’s flagship event the BMW PGA Championship.
Since being announced as Captain in January, McGinley’s mantra has been “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and the Irishman has made no other changes to the qualifying structure. The initial four qualification spots will go to those at the top of the European Tour list, which is effectively the European Order Of Merit, or the Race To Dubai as it now termed.
The remaining places will be allocated based on the World Points List, which includes events played on other tours throughout the world.
It’s quite possible that the reasoning behind this decision is to give himself the option of drafting in a Scottish player to boost home support, with Paul Lawrie being an obvious contender should he fail to qualify automatically. Lawrie has previously appeared twice, at Brookline in 1999 and last year at Medinah.
It is also expected that McGinley’s back room team will include at least one Scot, possibly the inimitable Colin Montgomerie.
The European qualifying campaign will commence at the Wales Open on September 5.