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Team Europe to increase wildcards from three to four

It has been announced that Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn will have four wildcard picks for his team in 2018. The increase from three is among several changes the European Tour has made to its qualifying criteria for the event at Le Golf National in France.

The 12-man European team for next year’s competition will comprise the first four players from the European points list, the leading four players from the world points list and four captain’s picks.

The qualifying process for the event – to take place from 28-30 September – will begin from the Czech Masters in Prague in August 2017.

Keith Pelley, the European Tour’s CEO, said: “The change to our minimum tournament requirement will help many of our members who play around the world but who, at the same time, wish to remain loyal to The European Tour. It will enable them to remain in membership in what are extremely exciting times for The European Tour with the advent of the Rolex Series, one of the most important and significant developments in our 44-year history.”

Thomas Bjorn said: “I am delighted the committee passed these regulations, which I believe will considerably benefit the European Ryder Cup team in 2018 without compromising the strength or importance of the European Tour.”