Padraig Harrington Reduces Number Of Ryder Cup Wildcard Picks

The European captain may reduce the number of Ryder Cup wildcard picks to three

Padraig Harrington Reduces Number Of Ryder Cup Wildcard Picks
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The European captain will have just three wildcard picks for 2020 instead of the previous four

Padraig Harrington Reduces Number Of Ryder Cup Wildcard Picks

Padraig Harrington has reduced the number of wildcard picks for the 2020 European Ryder Cup team from four to three.

Ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup, the number of wildcards for Team Europe was raised from three to four after previously being two up until 2012.

However, Harrington has dropped that number back to three.

That's because number nine on the standings, the man to miss out by a single place, is highly unlikely to be ignored for a wildcard pick.

The three-time Major winner hinted that he wanted the number of wildcards reduced earlier this year.

Harrington told BBC Sport in January,"I'm getting some stats done at the moment on whether to go for three or four.

"My thinking is, does the ninth guy ever get skipped over?

"I don't think it has happened and I think players are more comfortable and more confident if they've qualified directly rather than getting a pick.

"So I'd prefer more players to qualify than if I picked them but I will have a look at those stats. Anecdotally number nine always gets a pick so why not let them qualify?"

Related: Padraig Harrington's career timeline

Thomas Bjorn chose Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia as his four wildcard picks in 2018.

That came Darren Clarke picked Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Ian Poulter as his three wildcards in 2016.

Poulter was again a wildcard pick in 2012 where Jose Maria Olazabal had just two picks, with Nicolas Colsaerts being the second.

Harrington is the third Irishman to captain Europe in the last four Ryder Cups.

The match takes place in 2020 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x