The Ryder Cup rookie is always a strange term given we're often talking about major winners and some of the greatest players in the game – in 2018 we had the likes of Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas on the two teams.
But where it might make a difference is when they need to get a pick as Padraig Harrington explained.
"It’s harder for the rookies," Harrington said. "They have to do something exceptional to get a pick. Then again, if you do something exceptional it is likely you will make the team."
Shane Lowry of course did something exceptional back in 2019 when he waltzed to the 2019 Open and the signs are good, both with his form and the noises coming out of the European team room.
Rory McIlroy is probably the most dominant voice inside the room – at the closing press conference in Paris he was sitting alongside Thomas Bjorn and he was the lead-off man in the singles.
At The Open McIlroy explained that he expects Lowry to get a pick, the clever money is on Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter getting the other two.
"I think even if he didn't play his way into the points this week or the next few weeks, pretty sure he'd still be on the team going to Whistling Straits," McIlroy said.
"He's fiery, competitive, doesn't like to lose, all the things that you would want in a person to go and play a Ryder Cup, especially in America when you need personalities that are going to go up against not just the American team but the American crowd. I think he's tailor made for that."
Lowry, a regular practice playing partner of Harrington, moved ahead of Victor Perez into the automatic spots after his 12th place at Royal St George's and he's hoping that, either way, he'll be on the European team.
"I’m just doing my best to make sure Padraig doesn’t have a headache come September. My plan is to make the team. If I don’t hopefully I’m playing well enough to deserve to be picked.
“I feel like I’ve been great in the big tournaments this year. The Masters I wasn’t far away, the US PGA I was close. I’ve been close this week so I think my performances have been pretty good.”