How would you change the Ryder Cup qualifying process?

The Scoop

A team made up of 12 qualifiers? Or a whole team of captain's picks? Alex Perry, Mark Townsend and Steve Carroll argue about the Ryder Cup qualifying process...

The team should be made up of 12 qualifiers, argues Steve Carroll

Why make Ryder Cup team selection any more difficult than it needs to be? Why have a wildcard debate at all? Why open yourself up to criticism because you didn’t pick this player or you left that legend out?

With 12 qualifiers everyone knows where they stand. If you don’t make the dozen, you’re not going to the Ryder Cup. Simple.

There’s something to be said for earning your way onto the team – of a captain taking the best 12 that have done it week in and week out during the year-long qualification period.

None of this ‘world points list’ or who’s picking whose mate. Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood anyone?

Too many of these spots now are taken away from the arena that’s actually most the important – hitting good shots, making putts and winning tournaments.

But some of the world’s best players might miss out, I hear you cry.

Well, tough. If they weren’t good enough to do it when points were on the line then they don’t deserve to be in the team.

This competition should be about performance not reputation. Too many times have European and USA sides been hamstrung by players who shouldn’t have been anywhere near the side.

Having 12 qualifiers ends this possibility.

The captain should be able to pick his entire team, argues Mark Townsend

The Ryder Cup qualifying process is a genuine nonsense. What we all want is our 12 best players against their 12 best players and to then let them scrap it out for three days.

I don’t even like Paul Casey but the fact he has only played in three Ryder Cups, the last of which was in 2008, is risible.

Yes, yes, yes, he chose not to make himself eligible for 2016 but who wouldn’t have wanted Casey by their side when the bullets were flying around at Hazeltine a year ago?

Worse still was the dilemma Colin Montgomerie faced in 2010 when he had five players in the top 22 in the world needing a pick. It’s bloody lunacy.

In the end Justin Rose, three points from four in a losing team in 2008, and Casey, the World Match Play champion in 2006 and a losing finalist in the last two WGC-Match Plays, were left on the sidelines.

I understand the ‘support your Tour’ argument but the best – and most lucrative – way to help the European Tour is to win the Ryder Cup so why do we continue to hamper ourselves with a system that leaves us with a weakened team.

We’ve got a captain, why not put some faith in him?

It’s fine – just tweak the system, argues Alex Perry

I don’t want to say there is nothing wrong with the Ryder Cup qualification system, because that isn’t true.

The wildcard selection process is often very dramatic, and I like the idea of having 12 captain’s picks, but I still believe there needs to be some sort of qualification process in place.

How annoyed would you be if you’d played out of your skin for two years only to be snubbed for a “veteran”?

My preference would be eight qualifiers and four captain’s picks – as it is next year for the Le Golf National showpiece.

But I would get rid of this ‘world points list’ and ‘European points list’, or whatever they call them. It is nonsense.

I want the qualifiers to be the eight best players born in Europe. I don’t care where they play their golf. If they want to represent Europe and are eligible to do so due to their birthplace, then I want them in my team.

What – if anything – would you do to change the Ryder Cup qualifying process? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @NCGmagazine.

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