The quest to make The 2016 European Ryder Cup team will begin in Russia later this year when the M2M Russian Open at the Skolkovo Golf Club in Moscow has the honour of being the first counting event.
European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke made the announcement during the build-up to this week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation, revealing that the tournament, from September 3-6, will set the ball rolling.
“I am delighted that we are able to announce the start of the qualification for The 2016 European Ryder Cup Team,” said the Northern Irishman, who was unveiled as European captain on February 18. “This signals the start of what I know will be an intense and exciting period for me personally and for everyone involved with The European Tour.”
With the precise schedule for the 2016 European Tour season still to be finalised, the last counting event is not yet determined, but what is clear is the fact that the players will be operating under the same system employed for the 2014 qualification process.
To recap, that means the first four players bound for Hazeltine National in Minnesota in September 2016 will come from The Ryder Cup European Points List – based around points gained from events on The European Tour’s Race to Dubai – with the next five players coming from The Ryder Cup World Points List – based around Official World Golf Ranking points gained globally.
That will leave Clarke the task of choosing three wild cards to complete The 2016 European Team in the days after the conclusion of the final qualifying tournament.
“The qualification period is a truly global affair now and many of the players that will make the team will do so by playing in many tournaments around the world,” added Clarke.
“However, as I said when I was announced as captain, I’m focused on assembling the best team possible to represent Europe and I think this system gives me the opportunity to do just that.”