Jim Furyk will serve as the 2018 U.S. captain at the Ryder Cup, and he announced on Wednesday that qualification will happen a bit differently than in the past. Furyk and the PGA of America did not make any drastic overhauls to the system (even compared to what Europe did), but the tweaks are worth noting.
"I think we had a good system in the past," said Furyk at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. "We're not trying to re-invent the wheel; we're not doing anything crazy, but there are a few minor changes."
Here are the two changes.
- Furyk's final captain's pick will come after the BMW Championship and not the Tour Championship
- Golfers who make cut in 2018 majors but don't win will get 1.5 points for every $1,000 earned
In 2016, the final captain's pick was made after the Tour Championship, the Sunday before the Ryder Cup. This does not set up well for overseas travel, Furyk noted. The other three captain's picks will again be made after the second FedEx Cup playoff event (same as it was in 2016).
The money in majors issue change is this: Golfers who made the cut at majors in 2016 earned two Ryder Cup points for every $1,000. Now just the winner will get two. Other golfers will get just 1.5. Golfers will still get one point for every $1,000 earned in regular PGA Tour events. Golfers at the 2017 majors, Players Championship and WGC events will also earn one Ryder Cup point for every $1,000 starting at the WGC-Mexico Championship in March.
"Because the major championship purses are so large, and we thank them for that very much, but we're looking at $10 [million] and $10.5 million purses in the major championships," said Furyk. "When you double the points in those events, you in effect make a $20.5 [million], a $21 million purse. In effect, they become weighted triple or a little more than a PGA Tour event."
Furyk went on to note that you could finish third in a major in 2018 and earn more points than somebody who won a regular PGA Tour event, which is true. Now it won't be.
This makes sense, and I understand why Furyk values winners, but I think finishing top five in majors is a little bit underrated.
"I really value winning," said Furyk. "I want the guys that hit shots down the stretch, that have the guts, the fortitude, the game to win golf tournaments. I find winning very, very important. Winning a PGA Tour event with a strong field, to me, is more important than finishing third at a major.
"The reason we kept the points doubled for the winner is, again, I value winning. I think it's very important. Winning a major championship at any time, but especially in the year of the Ryder Cup in 2018 is important to me. So we kept that the same."