Europe announces changes to Ryder Cup qualifying system

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.