Golf: Furyk adjusts selection criteria for US Ryder Cup team

US Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk has tweaked the selection process for his team.
US Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk has tweaked the selection process for his team. PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

(AFP) - United States Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk said on Wednesday (Feb 8) he wants winners on the American squad to take on Europe in the match-play showdown in France in 2018, and has tweaked the selection process accordingly.

The PGA of America and Furyk, speaking at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California, announced minor adjustments to the selection criteria to give PGA Tour victories greater weight and top-10 finishes in Major championships slightly less.

The process will still see eight players qualify directly for the team based on points earned at events this year and next.

But now only the Major winners will receive two points per US$1,000 (S$1,400) earned in those events. Those who make the cut at the Majors will receive 1 1/2 points per US$1,000 earned.

"If you finished third in a Major championship, you earned more points than a winner in a PGA Tour event," Furyk said.

"And I really value winning. I want the guys that hit shots down the stretch, that have the guts, the fortitude, the game to win golf tournaments... winning a PGA Tour event with a strong field, to me, is more important than finishing third at a Major championship."

Furyk was named Ryder Cup captain in January, succeeding Davis Love, who guided the United States to a 17-11 rout of Europe at Hazeltine in Minnesota last year.

In the September 2018 matches at Le Golf National in Paris, he and his team will be out to end a lengthy drought on foreign soil, where the Americans have not won since 1993.

In part because of the added complication of travelling abroad, Furyk said the deadline for his four captain's picks would be earlier.

He will name three of the four after the second US PGA Tour play-off event in Boston, and make his final selection after the BMW Championship, rather than the Tour Championship play-off finale.

"It's obvious that we can't wait until after the Tour Championship to make a pick," Furyk said.

"We have passports, travel to Europe, and I feel like the timing, we probably want to get it done a little earlier and not put those guys through that at the Tour Championship again."