DORAL, Fla. – Among the host of items unveiled at last week’s U.S. Ryder Cup task force announcement was a change in the qualifying structure that robs fall events of any relevance in determining who qualifies for the American team.
It’s a move that PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem acknowledged on Sunday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship that he “kind of whiffed” when the PGA of America ran the changes by him.
“I didn't really think through that particular change, the point change, as it relates to those events,” Finchem said.
“It's particularly annoying to me that I missed it because we had just been wrestling with this on FedEx Cup points for the last number of years. We would like to see them included. . . . We’re going to have more conversations about that but we will be speaking out to the PGA on that question.”
Starting this year, players will earn one point for every $2,000 earned in the World Golf Championships and The Players and one point for every $1,000 earned in this year’s majors.
Beginning in January 2016, players will earn one point for every $1,000 in “stand-alone sanctioned events” and two points for every $1,000 earned in next year’s majors.
Lost in that structure, however, are the six fall events in the Tour’s wraparound schedule. Money earned in events like the McGladrey Classic, which is hosted by task force member and 2016 Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, will not count toward the Ryder Cup selection system.
Phil Mickelson was one of the task force members as well and he has been supportive of the change to the point structure.
“We’ve have been trying, the last two years, to have a wraparound schedule and I’m not really a big fan of it. It’s hard for spectators to understand it. I can’t understand it,” Mickelson said on Sunday at Doral.
“After playing eight out of 10 or eight out of 11 weeks the guys are going to take time off and from the Ryder Cup standpoint it doesn’t make sense to have points assessed on those events when none of the top players, or few of the top players, are playing and maybe the FedEx Cup should look at it as well. Maybe that’s not the best place to start [the season] out.”