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How the Ryder Cup could be affected by COVID-19

The 2020 edition of the Ryder Cup is scheduled to take place from September 25-27, at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

Team Europe will be hoping to retain the Samuel Ryder trophy after beating Team USA 17.5-10.5 at Le Golf National in 2018.

But due to the coronavirus pandemic, all worldwide Tours have been suspended with events in both Europe and the US being postponed or cancelled. With the majors being pushed back as well, it is not definite that the biennial event will be going ahead at all.

Date for Ryder Cup

As it currently stands, the Ryder Cup is still scheduled for late September. The latest reports indicate the Masters could be played in November, with the PGA Championship rescheduled for August 6-9. The Open could be moved from July 16-19 to September 17-20 – a week before the Ryder Cup.

The US Open, scheduled for June 18-21, is also expected to be postponed.

Team selections

If the Ryder Cup goes ahead on its planned date, the qualification period for players to make each team will have been shortened in terms of the number of events played, due to postponements and cancellations.

If the 2020 event is postponed for a few months or delayed for a year and played in 2021 instead, it is likely that qualification would remain open to players over that extended period of time. 

The 2001 Ryder Cup was postponed for a year following the 9/11 terror attacks in the US. Both teams had been finalised just before, and those teams were retained when the tournament resumed in 2002. Qualifying in the intervening time was not re-opened. 

If the 2020 event takes place in 2021 instead, this is not expected to be the case. Qualification is likely to remain open in that period.

Here’s the qualifying standings for each team as they currently stand.

Team Europe qualification

Selecting the 12-player team is based on two points lists: the European Points List and the World Points list. Four players will qualify from the first and five players from the second. Team captain Padraig Harrington will then be left with three wildcard picks, referred to as ‘Captain’s picks’.

European points: A player’s total is the number of Race to Dubai points they win. 
World points: A player’s total is the number of world ranking points they win. 

European Points list
(Players in bold qualify.)

1. Tommy Fleetwood – 3,927.41
2. Jon Rahm – 3,747.5
3. Rory McIlroy – 2,679.44
4. Victor Perez – 2,669.95
5. Matt Fitzpatrick – 2,197.41
6. Bernd Wiesberger – 2,174.32
7. Tyrrell Hatton – 2,123.37
8. Danny Willett – 1,961.42
9. Lee Westwood – 1,873.34
10. Marcus Kinhult – 1688.22

World Points list
(Players in bold qualify. Any player above the highest-ranked player in bold is currently in qualification position on the European Points list.)

1. Jon Rahm – 217.22
2. Rory McIlroy – 158.32
3. Tommy Fleetwood – 134.95
4. Victor Perez – 112.87
5. Danny Willett – 88.19
6. Matthew Fitzpatrick – 82.2
7. Lee Westwood – 79.38
8. Tyrrell Hatton – 78.55
9. Bernd Wiesberger – 73.75
10. Graeme McDowell – 70.33

Team USA qualification

Selecting the 12-player team is based on one points list. 

All U.S. players will have the opportunity to earn points beginning in 2019 and concluding immediately after the second FedEx Cup Play-Off event (BMW Championship) on August 23, 2020. The top eight (8) players on the points list will spots on the U.S. Team. A player’s number of points is based on the following system: 

2019 Major Championships: 1 Point per $1,000 earned
The Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open & The Open

2019 WGC Events and The Players Championship: 1 Point per $2,000 earned
WGC-Mexico Championship; WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship; The Players Championship; WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational; WGC-HSBC Champions 

2020 Regular PGA Tour events: 1 point per $1,000 earned
Beginning January 1, 2020, through the end of the second FedEx Cup Play-Offs (BMW Championship), August 23, 2020; includes the Zurich Classic of New Orleans team event and WGC events

2020 Opposite Field PGA TOUR events will NOT receive points

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
The Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open & The Open

Team captain Steve Stricker will then be left with four wildcard picks. 

Team USA points list 
(Players in bold qualify.)

1. Brooks Koepka – 5,704.43
2. Dustin Johnson – 3,851.33
3. Patrick Reed – 3535.78
4. Gary Woodland – 3384.54
5. Xander Schauffele – 3,371.22
6. Webb Simpson – 3,221.79
7. Justin Thomas – 2,687.79
8. Tiger Woods – 2,665.97
9. Tony Finau – 2,545.66
10. Matt Kuchar – 2,422.16
11. Bryson DeChambeau – 2248.46
12. Patrick Cantlay – 1971.05

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