09 Oct 2018

Rafa Cabrera Bello: No one’s system is perfect

There are plenty of chances throughout the year to try to play yourself into the Ryder Cup team, but there’s always a tendency to talk about the last event.

There has been a lot written in the media about me missing out on The Ryder Cup and all I want to say is that I obviously felt disappointed not to make the team.

I felt that I was playing well, and thought that I had shown good enough recent form to get a pick. But it is a tough decision for a captain, there were other great players outside the automatic qualification places so hopefully next time I can qualify directly as wildcards are always difficult to give out.

The Dell Technologies Match Play on the PGA Tour did not count towards the World Points List for qualification because this year it finished on the Monday and not Sunday due to it being Labour Day in the US. Rafa finished tied seventh at the event which would have got him into the European team automatically. – Editor

People have asked if I should have played the Made in Denmark event on the European Tour instead but, in that case, I would have had to miss the FedExCup. I felt I made the best decision I could with the information I had at hand at the time.

No one system is perfect. They all have their pros and their cons. There will always be players favoured by one type of system and affected by another. There are plenty of chances throughout the year to try to play yourself into the team, but there’s always a tendency to talk about the last event and all the possible what ifs…

The PGA Tour season is over and it was a pretty decent one for me. I played 20 events, made 18 cuts and five top tens, which was better than my 2017 season and hopefully I can improve again in 2019. I’m kicking off my 2019 PGA Tour season with events in Malaysia, Korea and Shanghai and then my attention will turn to trying to make sure I have a strong finish on the European Tour. I’m currently just outside the top ten in the Race to Dubai and my goal is to improve upon last year’s seventh place finish.



It was great to see Tiger back in the winner’s circle at the Tour Championship – his 80th PGA Tour win and his first for five years, what an achievement! You only had to look at the size of the crowds and see how excited they were to realise what Tiger still means to the game of golf. He really is the Michael Jordan of our sport. He’s been through a lot and for someone that didn’t have anything else to prove in golf, it’s incredible that he had the drive to go through all he’s gone through and win again.


I’m delighted to hear that Jebel Ali Golf Resort is open for play again with three redesigned holes which I’m sure will add a new dimension to the playing experience on what was already a wonderful Peter Harradine designed layout. The club is also opening its own David Leadbetter Academy next month – a first for the Middle East. David has been my coach for many years and his teaching methods are, in my opinion, second to none. I’m sure anyone who attends the academy will see a big improvement in their game.

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