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Tom Watson changes criteria to eliminate 1 of his Ryder Cup captain's pick

Tom Watson is giving back one of his captain's picks for the Ryder Cup.

In his first big move since he was appointed U.S. captain last year, Watson said Wednesday he would take the top nine players off the Ryder Cup standings and select three players as captain's picks. For the last three years, only eight Americans qualified for the team and the captain was given four wild-card picks.

Paul Azinger was behind the 2008 change to four picks to help give the Americans the 12 hottest players for the matches.

If nine players had qualified in recent years, Hunter Mahan would have made the team in 2012, and Anthony Kim would have been on the 2010 team.

The next Ryder Cup is in 2014 at Gleneagles in Scotland.