Stricker to have six Ryder Cup captain’s picks

The United States team is changing the way it selects players for the 2020 Ryder Cup, due to the number of PGA Tour events that were canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. captain Steve Stricker will now have six at-large selections — up from four — when the automatic qualifiers are determined at the conclusion of the BMW Championship on Aug. 30. Six players, instead of eight, will automatically qualify.

“With all the various changes to the 2020 schedule, it quickly became apparent that we would need to amend our selection criteria,” Stricker said Wednesday in a news release. “After many deliberate discussions, we collectively agreed that a smaller sampling of 2020 events — including just one major championship — would justify a one-week extension of the qualification window and increase in the number of captain’s selections from four to six.

“These changes were sparked by circumstance, but conceived with integrity in mind. In the end, we believe they will allow us to put our best team together to compete at Whistling Straits in September.”

Stricker will make his six selections on Sept. 2 or 3.

The PGA of America’s announcement is not meant to suggest that the Ryder Cup, scheduled for Sept. 25-27 in Wisconsin, is definitely going to be played this year. The organization, along with the European Tour, continues to weigh the possibility of admitting spectators or postponement.

The new criteria assume “all such events and the 2020 Ryder Cup take place as currently scheduled.”

Players had the opportunity to begin earning points in 2019, with points increased in 2020. Players earn one point per $1,000 earned; two points per $1,000 earned for the winner of the 2020 major championships — which is now down to just one, the PGA Championship in the qualifying period; and 1.5 points per $1,000 earned for all others who make the cut at a major.