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New points system for US 2004 Ryder Cup

U.S. players can start earning Ryder Cup points next year for the 2004 matches, with the value of victories and top-10 finishes increasing each season until the team is decided.

The PGA of America announced Thursday a new format that will be exclusive for the 2004 team. The changes were necessary because this year's Ryder Cup was postponed until next September because of the terrorist attacks.

A PGA Tour victory will be worth 37.5 points in 2002, 75 points in 2003 and 150 points in 2004. Victories in major championships will be worth 75 points in 2002, 225 points in 2003 and 300 points in 2004.

Points will be awarded on a sliding scale through the top 10 places of every event, and the race will end after the 2004 PGA Championship.

There had been some concern that the postponement of the Ryder Cup would mean players receive no credit for their performance in 2002.

``The events last week which forced a postponement ... did not detract from our responsibility to recognize and reward player performance leading up to the 2004 matches,'' said Jim Awtrey, chief executive officer of the PGA of America.

``Under these unique circumstances, we felt it was essential to develop a points system which accounts for player performance in 2002.''

The Ryder Cup will be played Sept. 27-29, 2002 at The Belfry in England with the same captains and 12-man teams that would have played next week.

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