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Europeans may change Ryder Cup selection

The Europeans want to change the system that gave them the winning Ryder Cup team.

Despite the victory at The Belfry on Sunday, European Tour executive director Ken Schofield is expected later this year to propose amending the system before the 2004 event at Oakland Hills, Mich.

Leading European players back him, arguing that the present system is illogical.

For several years, the team has been made up of the top 10 players from the Order of Merit - the European money list - and two captain's picks. Schofield wants the team made up of the leading five Europeans on the world ranking and the top five from the Order of Merit, along with the captain's picks.

The move, reflecting the trend of more top Europeans playing mainly on the U.S. tour, would mean that Sergio Garcia, ranked fifth in the world, would not have to be a captain's pick, as he was this time. He did not play enough in Europe to qualify from the Order of Merit.

After Sunday's victory over the Americans, Schofield conceded there was a case for not changing anything.

"But I feel that, as dynamics change, we should change with them," he said. "We have a situation where guys are opting to play on more tours all round the world."

The change would affect players like Garcia, Jesper Parnevik, Bernhard Langer, and Jose Maria Olazabal, who all play mostly in the United States, at least for part of the year.

Langer still managed to qualify and played a starring role in Europe's victory. But Olazabal did not and was not picked by captain Sam Torrance, whose selections were Garcia and Parnevik.

Langer has long argued for the system change and repeated it during last weekend's event. Olazabal, in Scotland for this week's Dunhill Links championship, agreed.

"It's not very logical to have players like Sergio or Jesper or even myself, and maybe some other players, playing in the States and maybe playing really well there, and not being in the team," Olazabal said.

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