U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson will select three wild-card players for his 2014 team, one less than in the past two editions.
Watson, an eight-time major tournament champion, is changing the selection process to encourage players to earn their way onto the team for the biennial matches in Scotland.
“Giving our players one more opportunity to earn a spot on merit, I believe, is the right thing to do,” Watson said in a statement released by the PGA of America. “I will use all possible resources in choosing these three captain’s choices to complete the best possible team in order to win the Cup back for the United States.”
Watson, 63, will make his choices in September 2014, prior to the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland.
The top nine U.S. players will automatically earn spots on the team through a points system based on prize money. Players will begin accumulating points on April 14, following the Masters Tournament, the first of golf’s four annual majors.
Watson, who also served as captain in 1993, is seeking to lead a U.S. rebound from last year’s final-day collapse. Europe equaled a 13-year-old record by the Americans for the biggest comeback in the competition’s history, rallying from a 10-6 deficit beginning the last session to win the three-day matches at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.