European selection process unchanged for 2008 Ryder Cup

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The qualification process for The European Team for The 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Kentucky, USA, from September 19-21, 2008, will reflect the same system which was implemented by Ryder Cup Europe for the 2004 and 2006 contests against the United States.

Five players will again qualify through The Ryder Cup World Points List, based on World Ranking points accumulated from all world ranked tournaments over a 12 month period, with a further five earning places in the European Team through The Ryder Cup European Points List, based on money won in European Tour Order of Merit tournaments.

Nick Faldo, Europe's Team Captain in 2008, will complete the 12-man line-up by selecting two Captain's picks at the conclusion of the qualification process, which is open to all European players in Full Membership of The European Tour.

This will be the third occasion in which the Official World Golf Ranking and The European Tour Order of Merit have been employed to determine the ten automatic places in The European Ryder Cup Team, with precedence given to the first five qualifiers from The Ryder Cup World Points List. On both previous occasions, at Oakland Hills, Michigan, USA, in 2004 and The K Club, Co. Kildare, Ireland, in 2006, Europe won by identical 18 1/2-9 1/2 margins.

The Ryder Cup World Points List comprises World Ranking Points won by a European Tour Member from each officially sanctioned tournament in which he participates between the Omega European Masters (September 6-9, 2007) and August 25, 2008, and thereafter in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, which concludes on August 31, 2008.

The Ryder Cup European Points List is based on one point per euro earned, from all officially sanctioned European Tour events between September 6, 2007 and August 31, 2008.

In 2008, the final counting event will be the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, host venue for The 2014 Ryder Cup. Between 1997 and 2006, the BMW International Open in Munich hosted the final qualifying tournament, but the latter event's move to a June date has necessitated the change.

Faldo, who played in The Ryder Cup 11 times and is Europe's individual record holder with 25 points, commented: "I am delighted to endorse the decision to continue with a selection process which has proved successful on both sides of the Atlantic, at Oakland Hills in 2004 and The K Club in 2006. There is a well used expression: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it,' and I feel that it applies in this instance.

"By using the World Ranking and the Order of Merit as the principal means to determine the ten qualifiers, I am confident that Europe will have the nucleus of a highly competitive side, so allowing me sufficient freedom to make my two Captain's picks."

Richard Hills, Europe's Ryder Cup Director, said: "Ryder Cup Europe is delighted to announce a qualifying system which reflects the continued influence of the Official World Golf Ranking and The European Tour Order of Merit. We believe that the system currently in place is competitive and representative of the talent at Europe's disposal."

SELECTION CRITERIA:
The European Team will be selected employing the following criteria:

(a) The leading five players on The Ryder Cup World Points List (1) as of Sunday, August 31, 2008, or at the conclusion of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, whichever is the latter. In the event of a tie (equal number of points accumulated), placings will be decided by the player with the higher ranking on the Official World Golf Ranking as of Monday, August 25, 2008.

(b) The leading five players, not otherwise qualified (having selected the five players from The Ryder Cup World Points List (a) above), from The Ryder Cup European Points List (2) as of Sunday, August 31, 2008, or at the conclusion of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, whichever is the latter. In the event of a tie (equal number of points accumulated), placings will be decided by the player with the higher ranking on the 2008 European Tour Order of Merit as of August 31, 2008, or at the conclusion of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, whichever is the latter.

(c) The Captain, Nick Faldo, will choose the remaining two players for The 2008 European Ryder Cup Team.

(1) The Ryder Cup World Points List is comprised of World Ranking Points won by a European Tour Member from each tournament in which he participates between September 6, 2007 and August 25, 2008 and thereafter in the 2008 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. World Ranking Points are allocated to all officially sanctioned tournaments (on any Federated Tour) by the Official World Golf Ranking and are allocated according to the Event Rating of the tournament.

(2) The Ryder Cup European Points List is comprised of points (1 point = 1 Euro) earned by a European Tour Member from all officially sanctioned European Tour tournaments on The European Tour Order of Merit between September 6, 2007 and August 31, 2008 or the conclusion of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, whichever is the latter.

DEFINITIONS: Membership and Eligibility for The 2008 European Ryder Cup Team.

All European Members of The European Tour, whether Full, Affiliate, Honorary Life or Challenge Tour, are eligible for The 2008 European Ryder Cup Team. Non-Members are not eligible.

Note 1: Points won on The Ryder Cup World Points List and The Ryder Cup European Points List can only be earned by a player whilst a Member of The European Tour (as defined in the preceding paragraph).

Note 2: For points earned on either list to count within any one Official Season a Member must fulfil his Membership obligations* (referred to in Membership Regulation B1(c)) within that Official Season. * In the Official Season in which The Ryder Cup is to be played, if any member has not fulfilled these Membership obligations at the time when The European Ryder Cup Team is selected, he must have committed to play and there must remain sufficient Order of Merit Tournaments in that Official Season for the player to be able to do so.

Note 3: A Non Member taking up Membership of The European Tour for an Official Season that commences during the qualification period, (referred to in paragraph (c) (1) above) can only earn points on either list from the date of the first Order of Merit Tournament of that Official Season or the first Order of Merit Tournament for which the player is a Member of The European Tour, whichever is the latter.