The next German Ryder Cupper? Former Outlaw Tour star Yannik Paul is dreaming big following DP World Tour win


Andrew Redington

Prior to his emotional one-stroke victory on Sunday at the DP World Tour's Mallorca Open, you had to be one sick puppy to know who Yannik Paul was. Translation: you had to be betting on golf during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That's when Paul and a number of other tour pros tried their luck on the Outlaw Tour, which was the only show in town for a brief moment with the rest of the sports world completely shut down. Sicko golf bettors began wagering on these low-level events and Paul became somewhat of a household name, picking up five top-11 finishes in just seven starts.

Then professional golf made its full return and Paul began bouncing around between the Challenge Tour, DP World Tour, PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour, flashing some brilliance with a T-2 at the 2022 Soudal Open and back-to-back top-20 finishes at the Barbasol and Barracuda Championships this past summer. He proved to be no flash in the pan this past weekend at the Mallorca Golf Open, which he won with a long birdie conversion on the 72nd hole at Son Muntaner Golf Club in Spain.

Paul, our guest on this week's episode of The Loop podcast, is now beginning to dream big following his maiden victory. And why shouldn't he? In addition to getting to the PGA Tour full time, the 28-year-old German's next big goal is to make the 2023 European Ryder Cup team, which is a distinct possibility given the LIV chaos that surrounds that squad right now. 

"I'm going to play DP World Tour next year, and starting next year they have 10 spots for the PGA Tour," Paul said. "So you basically have to finish top 20 in the ranking, because it's top 10 not otherwise exempt. So that's definitely my goal, especially because next year I'm going to get into all the big events. That's basically my No. 1 goal. 

"Then, another [goal], I think there's a chance if I continue play well, I can make the Ryder Cup," he added. "I just think they want to build a younger team. Obviously there's a core group of seven, eight players that are exempt. Like Jon [Rahm], Rory [McIlroy], [Matt] Fitzpatrick. But then there are maybe three or four spots they want to fill with younger guys, and I understand there are a bunch of young guys out here, but if I continue to play well, it's definitely a possibility."

It helps, too, that Paul played the 2023 Ryder Cup venue, Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, quite well last month, tying for 27th in the Italian Open. Even better? Luke Donald, the new European team captain after Henrik Stenson's ouster, sent Paul a text after his win this weekend, so he's clearly on the radar. 

For our full chat with Paul, please have a listen to the latest edition of The Loop podcast below, and please like, subscribe and leave a rating or review wherever you get your podcasts.