SPORTS

Europe announces changes to Ryder Cup qualifying system

FILE - This is a Wednesday, Dec., 7, 2016 file photo of the newly appointed 2018 Europe Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn holds the Ryder Cup as he poses for photographs at a hotel near Heathrow Airport, London during a media event. Europe’s team for the 2018 Ryder Cup in France will have an extra captain’s pick and is set to contain more in-form players following a revamp of the qualifying system in the wake of a heavy loss to the United States last year. The aim is clear, to give captain Thomas Bjorn the best possible team to regain the cup. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant/File)

FILE - This is a Wednesday, Dec., 7, 2016 file photo of the newly appointed 2018 Europe Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn holds the Ryder Cup as he poses for photographs at a hotel near Heathrow Airport, London during a media event. Europe’s team for the 2018 Ryder Cup in France will have an extra captain’s pick and is set to contain more in-form players following a revamp of the qualifying system in the wake of a heavy loss to the United States last year. The aim is clear, to give captain Thomas Bjorn the best possible team to regain the cup. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant/File)  (The Associated Press)

Europe will have four captain's picks in its team for the 2018 Ryder Cup as part of a revamp of the qualifying system in the wake of the heavy loss to the United States at Hazeltine last year.

Among other changes announced by the European Tour on Wednesday, more points will be earned at events in the latter stages of qualifying to ensure there are more in-form players in the team.

The changes were approved at a meeting of the European Tour's tournament committee late Tuesday.

Speaking Wednesday ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, European captain Thomas Bjorn said "with these changes, I feel I can get the best team possible."

Europe lost 17-11 to the Americans in October for only its second defeat in the Ryder Cup since 1999.

It was felt by some that Europe did not field its best team because of restrictions with the qualifying system.