VIRGINIA WATER, England -- Europe Captain Paul McGinley has given himself an extra pick for next year's Ryder Cup, copying American counterpart Tom Watson's decision to choose three players.
McGinley made the announcement on Tuesday, after meeting the leading European players on the PGA Tour at the Players Championship and receiving their unanimous endorsement to increase his picks from two to three.
In Watson's first big move as captain, he said in March he will reduce his selections to three players, down from four, as captain's picks.
"I've kept the qualification list order the same as Olly (Jose Maria Olazabal) had for Medinah (last year), the only difference being that I've increased the number of picks from two to three," McGinley said at the BMW PGA Championship.
"I've done that to give myself a little bit of extra flexibility when it comes to making my selections. Hopefully, this will ensure that I have the right players to face the examination paper that Gleneagles will set out next September.
"I have said on a number of occasions that if something ain't broke then don't fix it, and I think that applies to the qualification process for the European Ryder Cup team. You only need to look at the record books to see that we haven't done too badly of late so I didn't see the need to make sweeping changes."
Nine automatic places will be up for grabs in McGinley's team, with the first four coming from the European Tour points list, and the other five from the world ranking.
McGinley's decision means that of the 18 Ryder Cups to feature players from Europe since 1979, the captain will have selected three players on seven occasions, and two on 11 occasions.