Ryder Cup 2020: Padraig Harrington to cut wildcard picks from four to three

Updated: 23/05/2022


Harrington was named European Ryder Cup captain in January

Europe captain Padraig Harrington will choose three wildcards instead of four when his team defend the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straights next year.

Nine players will qualify automatically with points earned in tournaments from the BMW PGA Championship in September until the same event in 2020.

“In my experience, a player is more comfortable when he has qualified automatically,” said Harrington.

Europe thrashed the United States 17½-10½ to regain the Ryder Cup in 2018.

Thomas Bjorn, 2018 captain, used his wildcards to bring experienced players Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson into the team.

Spaniard Garcia became the Ryder Cup's leading points scorer at Le Golf National in France while Poulter beat world number one Dustin Johnson to help Europe reclaim the trophy.


BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter

Harrington's decision makes sense because players selected as wildcards can often carry an extra burden compared with those who qualify outright.

More often than not the golfer who finishes in the spot just outside the qualifying places gains a wildcard anyway, so why not embolden them with the confidence that comes with automatic qualification?

The move also acts as an added incentive to American based Europeans to play more on their home circuit to bolster their qualifying chances.

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