The Ryder Cup format has changed many times over the years, with the number of captain's picks varying depending on captain and team, but the 2014 American captain wishes he had zero picks and it was all based on qualification numbers.
Tom Watson, who will be trying to bring the Cup back to the United States for the first time since 2008, wishes he didn't have any captain's picks at all, a far cry from previous captain's who went out of their way to add picks from the man in charge, not take them away.
Watson has already lessened his pick authority by one, taking it from four picks in 2012 to just three in '14, but he would take it further if he could.
Speaking at the Year-To-Go event at Gleneagles, Watson said he would be fine with just qualified players making his team.
“Maybe that’s the way we should go back to,” the eight-time major winner said. “I reduced my picks from four to three, and was thinking actually two because I wanted the players who were playing to get on the team to have that as a goal. And if they got there, then they’ve earned something very, very special. Maybe we should go back to that.”
While this does seem a bit odd, the last time the Americans played in this event the captain's picks really struggled. Only Dustin Johnson was able to gain more than just a single point for the American team, with Steve Stricker, Brandt Snedeker and Jim Furyk combining to go 2-8-0 as picks for captain Davis Love III.
That said, I think I'd rather have the option of picking the guys that were playing the best at the time that might not have qualified than being stuck with whatever team the numbers give you.
European captain Paul McGinley tends to agree with me, saying of this proposition, "It’s different on the European side, with so many players playing on the PGA Tour. So let’s defer that one, thank you.”