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How Ryder Cup teams are named for 2021 competition

Here’s how both the USA and Europe select their 12 golfers, and then how they’re paired against each other.

Brooks Koepka and his caddie line up a shot on the seventh hole during the third round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on September 04, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

The Ryder Cup is perhaps the most beloved event in golf, and the competition between the USA and Europe has never been higher. And since the PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe (a combination of three pro golf jurisdictions on the continent) are separate entities, they can choose how they want to select their team each year.

Both use a combination of automatic qualifying as well as selections by the team captain, but have different processes. Here’s how both teams were constructed for the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.

USA

The top six America players on the Ryder Cup points list are automatically on the team. The other six players are picked by the Team USA Captain Steve Stricker.

Normally players earn points over a two-year cycle, but because of COVID-19 delaying this event by a year, the points actually go back to the beginning of 2019, but are weighted towards more recent performance. The points are based on dollars earned in tournaments, and majors count more.

USA Ryder Cup Automatic Qualifiers

  1. Collin Morikawa
  2. Dustin Johnson
  3. Bryson DeChambeau
  4. Brooks Koepka
  5. Justin Thomas
  6. Patrick Cantlay

USA Ryder Cup Captain’s Picks

Daniel Berger
Harris English
Tony Finau
Xander Schauffele
Scottie Scheffler
Jordan Spieth

Europe

Europe takes a different approach to qualifying, with nine golfers automatically qualifying and three selected by captain Padraig Harrington. The top four on the European Points list as of September 12th go through, followed by the next five on the Ryder Cup World Points List also on September 12th. The Ryder Cup World Points are based on that Official World Golf Ranking that adds points for tournaments on any sanctioned tour around the world.

Europe Ryder Cup Automatic Qualifiers

European Tour points qualifiers

  1. Jon Rahm
  2. Tommy Fleetwood
  3. Tyrrell Hatton
  4. Bernd Wiesberger

Ryder Cup points qualifiers

  1. Matt Fitzpatrick
  2. Rory McIlroy
  3. Paul Casey
  4. Viktor Hovland
  5. Lee Westwood

Europe Ryder Cup Captain’s Picks

Sergio Garcia
Shane Lowry
Ian Poulter