Captains Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk have some job on their hands, the performances of budding European and American golfers have certainly spiked in recent weeks with one eye on a trip to France in late September.
Bjorn will announce his four picks on Wednesday afternoon while tonight at 10pm, Furyk will announce three of his four Ryder Cup Wildcards before adding a final competitor next Monday, after the BMW Championship.
With so much speculation surrounding the picks of Bjorn and Furyk, we thought best to run through exactly how qualification works, give a low down on those already with spots and take a look at the favourites to join them.
While the wildcard selection is down to personal preference for the captains with their own criteria presumably consisting of a mixture of form, personality and experience, the automatic spots aren’t quite as simple to decide.
The first eight members of Thomas Bjorn’s Ryder Cup team are selected from both the European Points List and the World points List, with four from each.
However there are some stipulations in place to ensure someone who won the first three events of the year, then missed every other cut of the season, doesn’t get an automatic spot.
Golfers who accumulate points in tournaments later in the season will receive 1.5x points to reflect those in form heading into The Ryder Cup.
The US team follows a slightly different timeline however with points available as early as the first WGC event in 2017 and concluding directly after the PGA Championship which took place at Bellerive Country Club in August 2018.
In 2017, points can be gained from all four major championships, WGC events and The Players Championship at Sawgrass. Then this year participants in all regular PGA Tour events and majors will be able to tally up their total.
The points are measured by the prize money won at the end of each tournament, which in itself is a measurement of success, with different points attributed to different earnings. In each regular tour event this year players will get 1 point per $1,000 earned while in each major in 2018, they would have received 2 points per $1,000 earned.
With Thorbjorn Olesen securing the final automatic spot on Team Europe at the weekend, the automatic spots are all secured now.
Based on the above criteria, it comes as no surprise that many of the star golfers of 2018 have their place at Le Golf National nailed on already.
Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Francesco Molinari all feature as the major winners while rookies Tommy Fleetwood, Alex Noren, Jon Rahm, Thorbjorn Olesen and Tyrrell Hatton make their first appearances for Europe.
Under Furyk’s guidance are the likes of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas who have all been at the top of the world ranking for some time now as well as in form Webb Simpson.
|Team Europe ??|
|Tommy Fleetwood||Alex Noren|
|Tyrrell Hatton||Thorbjorn Olesen|
|Rory McIlroy||Jon Rahm|
|Francesco Molinari||Justin Rose|
|Team USA ??|
|Rickie Fowler||Dustin Johnson|
|Webb Simpson||Jordan Spieth|
|Brooks Koepka||Justin Thomas|
|Patrick Reed||Bubba Watson|
The announcements for both teams are now imminent and while the golfing world has a good idea on who will be picked by Bjorn and Furyk, there are still some areas of doubt.
Tonight, Furyk will give us three of his four picks and after Bryson DeChambeau’s win at the Dell Technologies Championship last night, and back to back FedEx Cup wins, he is almost guaranteed to get a spot.
On top of that, we are expecting Furyk to bolster his team with some experience and stardust with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, following a comeback from Tiger which has exceeded all expectations.
Obviously there is then one more spot to be decided after the BMW Championship and I think it’s a three-way tie between Tony Finau, Kevin Kisner or Matt Kuchar – we will see.
European fans will have to wait a bit longer though as Thomas Bjorn will be announcing his team at 2pm on Wednesday.
We asked our extremely passionate and knowledgeable Twitter audience who they think should be picked as a wildcard and it seems they aren’t far off the mark.
The bookies have Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey as the leading favourites to make the team at 1/40, 1/14 & 1/4 respectively. To shadow this, a whopping 84% of golfers backed Poulter, 71% for Stenson and 65% thought Casey was deserving.
So that’s three of them, what about the last pick?
Well according to our golfers, it’s a tally up between Matt Wallace who is fresh off an impressive Made In Denmark victory, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Thomas Pieters all with 56% of the votes.
However these three young guns are behind Sergio Garcia with the bookies who is 8/15 to make the pick despite having a torrid season and missing out on the FedEx playoffs for the first time.
If all this Ryder Cup talk has you itching to go and witness some of the action then why not register to be at Whistling Straits in 2020?
We are all out of packages for the action in a couple of weeks but we all know the Europeans will be desperate to win on foreign soil again after the disappointment of Hazeltine.
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