Jacklin: Europe needs to relax Ryder Cup rules


While he's not calling for a task force, Tony Jacklin believes that Europe needs to tweak its Ryder Cup qualification rules to ensure that the best possible team is fielded.

Jacklin was a part of the memorable "concession" at the 1969 Ryder Cup, and the Englishman went 2-1-1 as a captain from 1983-1989. He spoke to Reuters shortly after Darren Clarke captained the Europeans to a 17-11 defeat at Hazeltine, their first loss in the biennial matches since 2008.

Clarke's 12-man squad included six rookies, and according to Jacklin the absences of England's Paul Casey and Scotland's Russell Knox made a difference.

"I don't think Darren had the best team," Jacklin said. "The likes of Casey and Knox should have been on the team. Future captains need to have the 12 best players at their disposal - we need to look at the system."

Casey played on three Ryder Cup teams from 2004-2008, but he rescinded his European Tour membership at the start of the year to focus on the PGA Tour. That made him ineligible for selection despite a strong run through the FedEx Cup Playoffs that brought him to No. 12 in the world.

Knox is ranked No. 19, and he won twice on the PGA Tour last season. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for the first of those victories at the WGC-HSBC Champions because he was not yet a European Tour member, and he was ultimately passed over for one of Clarke's picks that instead went to Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Thomas Pieters.

While the rules are in place to ensure that players selected support the home tour, Jacklin believes they are inhibiting the squad's potential despite six European victories in the last eight matches.

"The European Tour should have rules that are conducive to being able to pick anybody born in Europe," Jacklin said. "Having to be a member of the tour in the modern-day game is a bit confining."