How To Qualify For The Ryder Cup

Here we explain how both the USA and European qualification systems work

Ryder Cup Qualification
(Image credit: Getty Images)

24 players will tee it up in the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, but how did they qualify?

How To Qualify For The Ryder Cup

The 43rd Ryder Cup takes place at Whistling Straits (opens in new tab) where Europe (opens in new tab) will be defending the trophy after beating USA (opens in new tab) 17.5-10.5 at Le Golf National in 2o18.

Both Team Europe and Team USA each have 12 players, but how did they qualify?

How To Qualify For The Ryder Cup

Each side consists of 12 players, but has two different qualifying formats. Due to a Covid-hit 18 months, team Europe will be made up of nine automatic qualifiers and three wildcard picks, whilst USA will have six automatic qualifiers and six wildcard picks.

How to qualify for the European Ryder Cup team

Firstly, to qualify for the European Ryder Cup team, you must be a member of the European Tour. That's because the European Tour run the European side of things, whilst the PGA of America organise things across the pond.

You may remember that Paul Casey re-joined the European Tour for 2018 in a bid to qualify for the side. He was previously unavailable for the 2016 and 2014 matches due to the fact that he only carried a PGA Tour card.

The European automatic qualifiers are made up of four from of the European Points List, and five from the World Points List.

Qualifying concludes at the BMW PGA Championship on the 9th-12th September, with European Points being earned via the Race to Dubai, which offers points in all European Tour events as well as the four majors and four WGCs.

The World Points list works where points are earned from Official World Golf Ranking points which are on offer at all events including on the PGA Tour.

In the European points, it was Jon Rahm (opens in new tab), Tommy Fleetwood (opens in new tab), Tyrrell Hatton (opens in new tab) and Bernd Wiesberger (opens in new tab) who qualified for the team, with Rory McIlroy (opens in new tab), Viktor Hovland (opens in new tab), Paul Casey (opens in new tab)Matt Fitzpatrick (opens in new tab) and Lee Westwood (opens in new tab) the World points qualifiers.

For this year, the remaining three places are reserved for wildcard picks from captain, Padraig Harrington (opens in new tab), with Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Shane Lowry (opens in new tab) the trio to be chosen by Harrington.

How to qualify for the USA Ryder Cup team

The USA Ryder Cup team qualification process is much simpler because all of their players play on the PGA Tour, as opposed to Europe where most of the team is competing on both sides of the Atlantic.

Due to Covid, here is how the USA points are earned:

2019 Major Championships

  • 1 Point per $1,000 earned
  • The Masters, PGA Championship, US Open & The Open

2019 WGC Events and The Players Championship

  • 1 Point per $2,000 earned

2020 Regular PGA Tour events

  • 1 point per $1,000 earned
  • Beginning 1st January 2020, through till the Mayakoba Golf Classic 3rd - 6th December.

2020 Major Championships

  • 2 Points per $1,000 earned for the Winner
  • 1.5 Points per $1,000 earned for all others to make the cut
  • PGA Championship, US Open, Masters

2021 Regular PGA Tour events

  • 1.5 Points per $1,000 earned
  • Beginning 10th January 2021 through till the end of the second FedEx Cup Playoff (BMW Championship); including The Players Championship and WGC events

2021 Major Championships

  • 2 Points per $1,000 earned for all others to make the cut
  • Masters, PGA Championship, US Open, Open Championship

The top USA qualifiers are (in order): Collin Morikawa (opens in new tab), Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay (opens in new tab).

Captain, Steve Stricker (opens in new tab), then chose Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau, Daniel Berger (opens in new tab), Harris English (opens in new tab), Xander Schauffele (opens in new tab) and Scottie Scheffler (opens in new tab) as his six wildcard picks; with Patrick Reed (opens in new tab) the biggest player missing out on a place.

The Ryder Cup takes place between Friday 24th September - Sunday 26th September.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.


Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.


Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x