Ryder Cup: Tony Jacklin Says Qualifying Rules Hurt European Chances

October 4, 2016

Every losing Ryder Cup team seems to be searching for answers at the end of three grueling days of match play. The 2016 European Team, or at least some of its heaviest supporters, is no different.

Famed European Ryder Cup captain Tony Jacklin says the qualification rules must be adjusted so the team can include the best players available. In an interview with Reuters, Jacklin cited Englishman Paul Casey and Scot Russell Knox as two golfers the European team missed dearly last weekend.

“I don’t think Darren [Clarke] had the best team,” Jacklin said following the event. “The likes of Casey and Knox should have been in [sic] the team. Future captains need to have the 12 best players at their disposal. We need to look at the system.”

That system disqualified Casey because he was not a European Tour member, and made qualifying difficult for Knox, who only joined the Tour after winning the WGC-HSBC Champions in November. With both those men sidelined, the European team competed without the 12th and 19th ranked players in the world.

Specifically for Knox, the lackluster performances of captain’s picks Lee Westwood (0-3) and Martin Kaymer (1-2) made his not being there even more divisive. If anything, Jacklin says, the Euro team should have four captain’s picks and not just three.

“If you’ve got four picks, you’re not keeping anyone out,” Jacklin said. “You want good match players and it gives the captain options.”