Europe captain Harrington gets Ryder Cup wildcards reduced to three

The number of wildcards available to Europe captain Padraig Harrington for the 2020 Ryder Cup has been reduced to three.

Harrington will lead the side at Whistling Straits in September next year and his request for the number of captain’s picks to be decreased from four was accepted by the European Tour’s tournament committee.

The 12-man team will consequently be comprised of the first four players from the European points list, the leading five from the world points list and the Irishman’s three selections, which will be announced in the week after the 2020 BMW PGA Championship.

Harrington believes the holders will benefit from having an extra player in their ranks who has passed through the qualification process.

“I have said on many occasions that one of the reasons for recent European success in the Ryder Cup is continuity. It is a theme that will be prevalent across my captaincy and I think you can see that in the overall qualification process for the 2020 team,” said Harrington in a statement.

“Having said that, I am pleased that the tournament committee agreed to the change of wildcard numbers. I have spoken to a number of people regarding the ninth player automatically qualifying for the team and in my experience, a player is more comfortable when he has qualified, hence my reasoning behind this change.

“I am also delighted to be starting and ending the process at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. It is one of our most prestigious events, played at an iconic venue and the home of the European Tour itself, and will help give a real narrative to the qualification race.”