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Ryder Cup Changes Gives Olazabal Two Wild Card Picks

Posted on February 10, 2011 by Thomas Rooney

Jose Maria Olazabal will have two wild card picks to make for the 2012 Ryder Cup.

New Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal will only have two wild card picks for the 2012 tournament after the tournament committee accepted his proposals to have the number reduced.

Previous Ryder Cup captains had the option of picking three wild cards in addition to the top nine European players in the world ranking list.

Another change sees the European money list take precedent over the world ranking list for automatic qualification for the team. The changes will help Europe’s plight to retain the cup in 2012, and bigfreebet will likely install them as favorites for the tournament.

In 2010 the top four players in the world rankings were awarded a spot on the team, with the top five in the European rankings joined them along with the three wild card picks, raised from two in previous years. Olazabal will hope the reduction in wild cards will work in Europe’s favor and see big free bet shorten their odds for the tournament.

The Spaniard declared himself happy with the changes that revert back to the old style of selection, and believed it would help him be successful at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois. He said: “I just felt this would give the team the best chance to keep the Ryder Cup. That’s what we all want.”

“I looked over the last few qualification processes, going back to 2004, and was satisfied that my proposal would give me the strongest team on paper,” he added.

“At the end of the day, it is the players who are the stars and it is the players who hit the shots and win the points to win The Ryder Cup.”

The side will now be comprised of the top ten yearly earners and Olazabal’s two picks. Europe regained the cup at Celtic Manor 14 ½ – 13 ½ last time round and Olazabal will hope that the removal of one of the wild cards will mean there is less risk associated with the team selection.

Previous European captain Colin Montgomerie caused controversy with his picks for the 2010 tournament at Celtic Manor – opting for the out-of-form Padraig Harrington as his third pick over Paul Casey.

The qualification period for the 2012 tournament will begin with the Omega European Masters at Crans-Sur-Sierre in September.

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