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Golf News: - Posted 16th January 1998

Ryder Cup committee rejects Seve's changes

Virginia Water, Surrey - The European Ryder Cup committee has totally rejected all the changes suggested by former captain Seve Ballesteros, and will stick with 10 qualifiers and two wild cards.

The committee, however, said it would make some minor changes.

Under the first change, the two wild-card selections must be PGA European Tour members, a rule that would have kept Sweden's Jesper Parnevik off the victorious 1997 team. Parnevik is a member of the U.S. PGA Tour.

A player like Parnevik, however, could regain his European tour card by playing only four events instead of the seven previously required.

Another change adds the 1999 Andersen Consulting Match Play, the first tournament of the four-event World Golf Championships, to the Ryder Cup qualification list. That list already includes all European events and the major championships.

The Ryder Cup committee also said it expects to name the replacement for Ballesteros prior to the 12-month qualifying period, which begins with the European Masters on 3rd - 6th September.

Ballesteros resigned after leading Europe to a one-point victory over the United States at Valderrama in Spain last September. Among the favourites is Mark James, who was an assistant to Ballesteros in Spain.

Ballesteros had asked for as many as four wild cards and complained his hands were tied as he tried to pick the best team.

Colin Montgomerie, the top money winner the last five years in Europe, has said the captain should pick all 12.