Clarke sticks to McGinley's winning format for 2016 Ryder Cup

Tue May 26, 2015 1:04pm EDT
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By Bernie McGuire

NEWCASTLE, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - Rather than experimenting with a new qualifying format, European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke plans to stick to a winning formula when he picks the European team for the 2016 competition.

Clarke said he would adopt fellow Irishman Paul McGinley's victorious arrangement which spurred Europe to a five-point triumph at Gleneagles last year.

Clarke’s 12-man team will be made up of four players from a European' points table, five from a World Points table and three wildcard picks.

“I gave the qualifying process a lot of thought, I looked at a lot of stats and I looked at a lot of comparisons from what teams would have been like had the qualifying process been slightly different in past years," Clarke told reporters ahead of this week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

“My overall feeling was given the team Paul had assembled at Gleneagles, and how successful they were, it would have been very foolish of me to try and make any changes to that system.

“Hopefully that will allow us to have the strongest possible team going to Hazeltine next year.”

While the European points category protects the interest of the European Tour, it will be the World Points category where the strength of Clarke's team will come -- the European-born players competing on the PGA Tour.

The 2016 Ryder Cup qualifying process will commence with the Sept. 3-6 M2M Russian Open in Moscow and conclude at the end of August 2016.   Continued...

Golf - BMW PGA Championship - Virginia Water, Surrey, England - 22/5/15
Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke during the second round
Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs