Tuesday, January 8, 2008

European Tour Brain Regain

Larry Bohannan in the Desert Sun profiles Henrik Stenson's announcement in the Accenture Match Play presser that he will not be a playing member of the PGA Tour in 2008. From the piece:

Stenson played 31 events worldwide last year, and he's looking to cut that number to about 25 this year. For a player who wants to be a European Tour member, logical for someone like Stenson from Sweden, the PGA Tour's requirement of 15 events for full membership makes it tough to be a member of both tours and still limits starts to that 25-event number.
Bohannan then also explores another rationale - the Ryder Cup.
European golfers have three ways to make the 2008 team under captain Nick Faldo. They can be among the top-five money winners on the European tour, they can be among the top money winners on the so-called world money list that includes winnings on tours outside of Europe, or they can be one of Faldo's captain's picks.

"That should make it a little bit easier, if I can compete on the two lists than just on the one," Stenson said. "Yeah, (the Ryder Cup) also comes into play, and with the scheduling and everything."
It's a great point and further proof that the Euros really do care more about the Ryder Cup than the Americans. Certainly the grind of global travel must be intense, but Stenson does acknowledge that a big motivation for him is to balance a schedule while making the Ryder Cup team. Perhaps this shift will inspire other borderline Euros to stay at home and play on their continent's tour?

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