The current Race to Dubai leader and US PGA champion, Martin Kaymer, has decided not to take up US PGA Tour membership next season. Speaking in the build-up to this week’s Race to Dubai finale (in Dubai, of all places), the 25-year-old made it clear that the European Tour will still be the circuit he calls home next year:
“To play both [tours] doesn’t fit schedule-wise, I consider the European Tour as my home… I will stick to the European Tour. I will play probably two or three more events in America but I will play in Europe.”
Statements of intent don’t come much clearer than that and it means that Kaymer will be joining world numero uno Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy in forfeiting the opportunity to play event after event at the tail end of next season in a bid to win TEN MILLION DOLLARS.
Though there has been an undoubted effort on behalf of top European Tour players to give the impression that their scheduling decisions owe more to patriotism and loyalty than anything else, I suspect the likely structure of the FedEx Cup has probably played a crucial role in alienating the top tier of European talent.
With little else to commend it to players other than the unlikely prospect of winning TEN MILLION DOLLARS, the playoffs can be seen as an exhausting commitment, particularly given that the rise of the European Tour’s Asian schedule means that early October need not mark the end of worthwhile competitive golf. In that context, playing seven or eight weeks in close succession at the tail-end of the summer does not a sound decision make.