Thomas Bjorn
Bjorn is charged with leading Europe to victory at Le Golf National in 2018 Getty Images

Europe's Ryder Cup 2018 team will include four wild-card picks as the European Tour sets about shaking up its qualifying criteria. Team USA added a fourth wild-card to their team during last year's event and in doing so ended a run of three consecutive European victories with a 17-11 win.

Europe captain Thomas Bjorn thinks an added wildcard will hugely benefit Europe as they look to regain their crown and expressed his 'delight' over the decision which only adds to the pressure on his shoulders: "I am delighted the committee passed these regulations, which I believe will considerably benefit the European Ryder Cup team in 2018 without compromising the strength or importance of the European Tour," Bjorn told Sky Sports.

"In my role as chairman of the tournament committee for the past 10 years and now as Ryder Cup captain, I fully appreciate the need to balance both of these essential elements, and I think we have managed to do that."

The extra wildcard is just one of a host of changes the European Tour have made to their qualification process; tournaments in the second part of the season will carry weighted points while players only have to play four tournaments instead of five to retain their Tour membership. Players who decline their membership of the European Tour will not be available for selection.

Europe's team for the tournament at Le Golf National in France next year will now be made up of the first four players from the European points list, the leading quartet from the world points list and four of Bjorn's picks. The qualifying process for the event will begin at the Czech Masters in August.