Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ballesteros' Ryder Cup Plans Dashed

VIRGINIA WATER, England -- It's a Ryder Cup in Spain but not how Seve Ballesteros wanted it.


Europe's Ryder Cup committee dealt the Spaniard a blow Tuesday when it refused his bid to have four captain's picks instead of two.


The Europe vs. United States tournament moves to Spain for the first time Sept. 26 to 28 with the Europeans going to Valderrama to defend the title they won at Rochester, New York, in 1995.


With stars such as Nick Faldo, Jesper Parnevik, Jose Maria Olazabal, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle and team captain Ballesteros himself unlikely to make the top 10 Ryder Cup points standings, the Spaniard, who had campaigned hard to get the tournament to Spain in the first place, had called for a players' ballot to try and change the selection process to accommodate four picks.


But the Tournament Committee of the PGA European Tour and the Ryder Cup committee said no.


It announced it had taken legal advice and decided that the selection process will remained unaltered from the existing 10-plus-2 format. It was a surprise move that will dismay some of the big names who will be left off the team but delight some of the lesser known players who are high up in the Ryder Cup points list.


Ballesteros expressed his disappointment in a statement released through the PGA European Tour.


"I have read very carefully the legal opinion by the Tournament Committee and the Ryder Cup committee, and it is a pity that the Ryder Cup selection procedure cannot be altered for the 1997 Ryder Cup matches.


"I should like to explain why, from the beginning, I have asked for more picks.


"This year there are special circumstances with Jose Maria Olazabal's [foot ailment] situation and some other players competing in the United States for most of their time,'' Ballesteros said.


"There are also some very special circumstances surrounding this year's match, as some players have the type of game that is well suited to the unique examination offered by the Valderrama course.


"Quite simply, some players are better suited to some courses. For example, I always played well at Augusta National, but it was different for me on U.S. Open courses."


Ballesteros said recently he had received support to hold a ballot of the full European Tour membership to force a change of the selection rules. "As the Ryder Cup committee has already received representations from a number of Ryder Cup candidates that they strongly disagree with any suggested alteration to the selection procedure, then it would be inappropriate to hold a ballot,'' the Tournament Committee said in a statement.