The Ryder Cup is one of the most famous golf traditions today. During its 77 years of history, the Ryder Cup has become an event golfers don’t want to miss. Fans visit different locations around the world every two years to witness the best American and European professional golfers facing in friendly, yet intense and competitive matches. This year PGA America has revised the Ryder Cup point system, which determines the top eight players for the 2008 American Ryder Cup team. This change in structure will make it harder for American professionals to get a place in the team. In addition, for changes in the points system, the 2008 American Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger 2008 now has four captain’s choices instead of the traditional two.
A Time of Change: 2008 Ryder Cup Qualification
The selection of the American Ryder Cup squad has always been a competitive and interesting process. The selection process will be even more interesting because a new point system is practiced and American captain Paul Azinger has made his last four player choices. The new point system starts with four major golf championships: Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship. Players will receive one point for every $ 1000.00 they make on this event. From 1 January 2008 to 11 August, prospective players will receive one point for every $ 1000.00 earned in official events. Exceptions include the 2008 major championship, where potential players earn two points for every $ 1,000.00, and the event is played opposite the main championship and the World Golf Championship event, where potential team members earn half a point for every $ 1,000.00. Because the 2006 point system works until the new system is announced at the end of last year, all potential US players who are in the top ten on all official events between 11 August and 5 November 2006 will be given a quarter point for every $ 1000.00 win.
Paul Azinger leaves his signature at the 2008 Ryder Cup
Azinger, the 2008 American captain, was partially responsible for changing Ryder Cup qualification criteria. In November 2006, Doug Ferguson, a golf writer with the Associated Press, reported that Azinger had persuaded the American PGA to improve the point system and give him four captain’s choices. In his article, Ferguson quotes Azinger. “I will be blamed if it doesn’t work,” Azinger told Ferguson, “I want some credit if it works.” Changes in the qualification process will make potential players work harder for selection and no one will get their place in the team until after the 2008 PGA Championship. Azinger will have up to a week before the Ryder Cup to announce the selection of four captains, unlike in the years before when the captain’s choice was announced right after the PGA Championship. “I like the idea of choosing four players,” Azinger told the Associated Press on November 6. “I like the idea that I don’t have to choose them immediately after the PGA Championship. I have no other chance. The Ryder Cup captain has done it, and I really appreciate that,” he continued.
2008 Ryder Cup: Creating a New Tradition and Celebrating the Past
The 2008 Ryder Cup competition is scheduled for September 19-21 2008 and will be held at the prestigious Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Valhalla Golf Club has held two PGA Championships and one PGA Senior Championship. In the past the American team has dominated the Ryder Cup, but in recent history European teams have won in succession and this year the American team hopes to reclaim the Ryder Cup, which they have not held since 1999. Captain Paul Azinger will compete against one Europe’s favorite golf professional, European captain Nick Faldo. Faldo and Azinger have a history related to the Ryder Cup. In 1993 they competed in one of the most memorable Ryder Cup matches. When the official event took place throughout 2007, golf enthusiasts will definitely watch carefully to see which players get points under the new qualification system and eagerly await Azinger’s choice in 2008.