Players benefitting from points increase
There was a key turning point in the Ryder Cup qualification process at the BMW PGA Championship, as Race to Dubai points and World Ranking points were multiplied by 1.5 for the two respective qualification lists. Starting at the BMW PGA Championship, Ryder Cup hopefuls will see a greater weighting for points earned in tournaments to help ensure the European Team features those players in form close to the event.
“I'm a strong believer in form and it is a very key thing for The Ryder Cup" said Captain Thomas Bjorn.
“I believe that people that play well from Wentworth, all the way through to when the Ryder Cup matches start, they should be in that team. You want to have people that are excited about their golf, excited about where they are with their game, and these 1.5 points really gives guys a chance to get right into that team. Everybody that's on form from Wentworth onwards, they will have a chance of making the team.”
Strong fields at the BMW PGA Championship and the Italian Open can only have the Dane excited at the prospect of European golf, in the build up to the Ryder Cup.
“I like what I'm seeing in European golf at the moment with our experienced players, but also with a lot of the youth that's coming through,” Bjorn added.
“I just watch it from afar and let them try and achieve what they can do on the golf course. I think that's what's going to stand us the best chance, if they achieve great things in their individual tournaments.”
One of the players who has benefited significantly from the increase in points available is Francesco Molinari.
Having played on two winning European teams, Molinari looks like he may make it a trio of appearances after winning the BMW PGA Championship and finishing in solo second at the Italian Open. This scintillating form has seen the Italian climb to the top of the Ryder Cup Rankings, where he will look to remain until the teams are announced at the close of the Made in Denmark tournament.
After his win at the BMW PGA Championship, Molinari admitted it was a big step closer to being a part of Bjorn’s squad at Le Golf National.
Molinari said: “I was too far back, really, in the standings to be seriously thinking about it. Obviously, I know it's on a course I love and where I have almost as good a record as I have at Wentworth, so I'd love to be there. But there's a lot of great players. So now I've put myself in a much better position.”
Molinari is a fine example of how players can take advantage of the increased amount of points on offer and make their way into Bjorn’s Ryder Cup team.