Euro Tour To Players: Go Home!
By Torleif Sorenson on 9/6/13
The European Tour's 15-man tournament committee has approved an interesting change for their playing members: Either each player plays at least one "native" event in their home country, or face playing a mandatory 15 tournaments each year, instead of just 13.

What is eye-opening about this change is that Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who is on that committee and plays both the American and European Tours, agrees with the decision but acknowledges that his travel schedule just became tougher. Stenson has said that he probably will "trade" Jack Nicklaus's Memorial Tournament for the Scandinavian Masters in 2014.

Germany's Martin Kaymer, who won the 2010 PGA Championship called the decision "brilliant":
"If you're from Ireland, England, Spain, Germany, I think you should play there anyways. You shouldn't [have to] be pushed to do it."
On the other side of the argument is Sweden's Jonas Blixt who, like Stenson, plays both tours.
"I don't think it's right, but I get it. I feel when I play the Swedish Masters, it's a privilege to play there, but I don't want to make it a must. I know they're trying to protect the tour. Hopefully, they'll play it anyway, but it's kind of unfair to the guys to have a tournament in their home country and the guys that don't have one because it doesn't affect them at all."
Lee Westwood took an even longer view:
"It's unfortunate for some of the other players, like the Italians, maybe the Dutch, some of the Swedes, forcing them to play a tournament that might not fall on their schedules and might force them to make a decision. I didn't see the point in doing it, to be honest. It was making a rule just for the sake of it, I think."
Indeed, for Blixt, Stenson, Justin Rose, and Martin Laird, all of whom have won on the American tour this year, the requirement could, conceivably, force them to miss a U.S. tournament in which they are a previous champion, depending on the European schedule.

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Image via European Tour

[ comments ]
mjaber says:
Not knowing how the Euro-tour is setup, I'm not sure how I feel about this. How many tournaments are played in each country? What happens if there isn't a tournament in their home country? Let's say there is a guy from Luxembourg, and he has membership on both the US & Euro PGA Tours. Isn't he at a disadvantage due to the fact that, since there is (most likely) not a Euro tour stop in his country?
mustang6560 says:
It's a well-intentioned policy change, however, the European Tour isn't in a place financially to threaten its players. It'll be PGA Tour Europe soon enough.
jasonfish11 says:
I think if they dont have a tourny in your home country you are at an advantage. You basically have less restrictions on how you set up your schedule compared to someone from a country that they do stop in.

My question is what if they only have 1 tournament stop in your country and it is the same week as the US Open which you qualified for. That would be rediculous to expect someone to play the Belgium Open (I just made that up) instead of the US Open.
mjaber says:
@jasonfish... true, but he does not have the option of playing fewer events to keep his Eurpoean card. I suppose, regardless of the situation, if it's important to the player to keep his card, he'll figure it out.
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