Tom Watson has confirmed he has made a significant change to his selection strategy for next year's Ryder Cup.
The American captain has reduced his number of captain's picks from four to three for the 2014 contest at Gleneagles in Scotland.
Paul Azinger had implemented the increase to four wildcards ahead of the 2008 edition at Valhalla, and the move paid handsome dividends as he led the USA to their first victory in nine years.
But Europe regained the trophy in 2010 and retained it in memorable fashion last season after an astonishing final-day comeback dubbed the "Miracle at Medinah".
Nine players will now qualify for the Gleneagles team from the Ryder Cup points list, which begins at the Masters next month, with Watson adding three captain's selections around a month ahead of the match.
Announcing the move, Watson said: "There's not a lot of method in my madness, I just truly think the players themselves ought to have another shot at getting on the team because of their merit, because of their play.
"I will use all possible resources in choosing these three captain's choices to complete the best possible team in order to win the cup back for the United States."
Watson also revealed he had consulted "three or four" recent USA captains including Azinger, and added: We had long conversations about it and all of them said it was a good decision.
"I talked with Paul and he was behind it 100 per cent. He had some good thoughts about how he comprised the team and what he did with the team to get them some ownership in the process."
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