The European Ryder Cup Qualifying Process Was Poorly Planned

Shane Lowry Wyndham Championship
Shane Lowry looks on over on the 15th green during the second round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield CC on Aug 14, 2020 in Greensboro, NC. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

As someone who gets paid (sort of) to follow the Ryder Cup qualifying race, off the top of my head I couldn’t tell you who stands where due to the confusing method of the process.

Whereas the U.S. Ryder Cup qualifying is based on one set of points, Europe utilizes two systems (European Tour and World Rankings).

For instance, due to Rory McIlroy staying stateside, Bernd Wiesberger now needs only a top-50 finish to overtake him. This will force McIlroy to take up a spot on the world points list, effectively knocking out Shane Lowry, who has performed impressively down the stretch.

If McIlroy had teed it up and finished in the top 25 at Wentworth, Lowry would have likely secured the spot, allowing Harrington to choose the veteran trio of Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose. Now it’s likely to come down to Rose or Lowry as the final captain pick.

“Hopefully I don’t need a pick on Sunday evening,” said Lowry. “I’ve played some good golf over the last few months. I’ve put my hand up as much as I could have over the last while, and it’s up to Paddy what he wants to do on Sunday evening.

“But hopefully I don’t need that pick, and first and foremost I can go out and do the business this weekend and win the tournament.”

They also erred on the scheduling of the final qualifying event which forced the guys on the bubble to fly across the pond and compete in the BMW PGA Championship.

“This tournament is heavily loaded compared to everything else we’ve done, and I think it’s something to maybe look at in the future,” said Lee Westwood. “I think some of the guys turning up here don’t need this week right now, knowing what the Ryder Cup is like, they don’t need this week, two weeks before the Ryder Cup.

“It is going to be draining for a few, and you want to be going into the Ryder Cup fresh.

“You can see how players are reacting to it out on the golf course. You know there’s people right in there and they are shooting scores where clearly they have got other things on their mind.

“I’ve played with Shane (Lowry), he’s managed to block everything out well and play well, and Shane Lowry is the kind of player that you want on your Ryder Cup team. I’m pleased to see him play well.”

Finally, the confounding process has also taken the shine away of the European Tour’s flagship event as the storyline is nearly all focused on the Ryder Cup race and very little about the tour’s top event.



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