European captain Luke Donald gets six picks for 2023 Ryder Cup

New European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald poses with the trophy. Picture: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.New European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald poses with the trophy. Picture: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.
New European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald poses with the trophy. Picture: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.
Luke Donald, the European captain, will have six picks for next year’s Ryder Cup in Italy and has also built in some wriggle room to weigh up his options.

The battle to be on the Englishman’s team at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome starts next week in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

It will conclude on 3 September, 2023 – a full three weeks ahead of the start of Ryder Cup week – when six players who qualify automatically will be confirmed.

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That group will comprise the three leading players on the European Points List followed by the three leading players on the World Points List.

Donald, who replaced Henrik Stenson following his move to LIV Golf, will then make his selections as Europe attempt to win the trophy back after a record defeat at the hands of the Americans at Whistling Straits in the 2021 edition.

The number of picks available to a European captain has fluctuated between two and three since 1979, though Bjorn had four at his disposal when he led the home team to a thumping triumph in France in 2018.

The six spots available to Donald puts him in the same position as Zach Johnson, his US counterpart, for the event’s 44th edition next autumn.

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Another change, agreed by Donald along with his two current vice captains, Thomas Bjørn and Edoardo Molinari, and the DP World Tour Tournament Committee, sees a modification in the points allocation for the European Points List.

In previous years, the ratio between the highest and lowest ranked events on the DP World Tour exhibited a factor of 6:1 (12,000 points v 2,000 points). Under the new system, this is reduced to a factor of 4:1 (6,000 points v 1,500 points).

Majors and the DP World Tour Championship will carry 6,000 points while 5,000 points will be on offer in other Rolex Series events, including the Genesis Scottish Open, and World Golf Championships.

Events of $5 million or over will have 3,500 points up for grabs, reducing to 2,500 for tournaments of $2 million or over and 1,500 for events under $2 million.

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In a status quo, no points will be available from any tournament played anywhere in the world scheduled against a Rolex Series event on the DP World Tour.

Donald said: “The revised overall process removes the need for points multipliers in the last few months of the qualifying period, and the six picks give me flexibility to ensure we have the strongest line-up at Marco Simone in terms of in-form players, players with Ryder Cup experience, and potential pairings.

“As far as the European Points List is concerned, modifying the points allocation will give an improved chance for DP World Tour members playing predominantly on the DP World Tour to make the Ryder Cup team through one of the now three spots available from that list.”

Padraig Harrington, Donald’s predecessor, only had three picks and named them shortly after the conclusion of the BMW PGA Championship, with the contest then taking place just a fortnight later.

“We have also moved the end of the qualification period forward to give the players the right amount of preparation time once they have made the team,” added Donald.

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