Casey in 'constant discussions' over European Tour return

 06 Nov 2015 - 16:54

Shanghai: Former world number three Paul Casey said Friday he is "in constant discussions" about returning to the European Tour and becoming eligible for next year's Ryder Cup.

Casey, who lives in Arizona, gave up his European Tour membership this year to cut down on travelling and spend more time with his second wife, Pollyanna Woodward, and their young son, Lex, who is 14 months old.

The move revitalised the 38-year-old Englishman's career and he has risen to 24th in the world from 75th at the start of the year.

Casey would currently be a shoo-in for captain Darren Clarke's team to play at Hazeltine in the United States if available, but players have to be a member of the European Tour to qualify.

Just a month ago Casey was reported as saying he would not take up his membership again, something seen as a huge snub to the European Tour.

Casey is still bitter at being left out in 2010 when he was in the world's top 10 but Colin Montgomerie instead gave a Ryder Cup wild card to the out-of-form Padraig Harrington.

But he said Friday that following "encouraging" discussions with new European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley he could envisage a scenario where he would rejoin and play in the Ryder Cup.

"I want to be supportive to him (Pelley) and the tour as well," Casey told AFP after a second round 72 at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai left him at five-under par, nine shots behind the leader Kevin Kisner.

"We're in constant discussions, that's the best way to put it."

'Need to know'

England's Ian Poulter was forced to make a last-minute dash from Florida to Hong Kong two weeks ago to keep his European Tour card.

He was in grave danger of not reaching the Tour's 13-event minimum after falling out of the world's top 50 which guarantees entry into this week's WGC-HSBC Champions.

The favoured rule change appears to be switching to a minimum of five events outside of the co-sanctioned majors and WGCs, which means that falling out of the top 50 would not put someone in Poulter's predicament.

Players could fix their schedule of five events at the start of the year safe in the knowledge that it would not have to be shuffled if their top 50 status changed.

It would also guarantee top 50 players featuring in at least 13 European Tour events -- as happens now -- five regular tour events plus four majors and four WGCs.

Pelley told AFP earlier this week that he would love to have Casey back.

"We've had a discussion. We'll get together again soon," Pelley said in Shanghai on the sidelines of the HSBC Golf Business Forum.

"Paul's a great star who has been playing well. Hopefully he'll rejoin the tour and be back with us for some events next year."

Casey said he welcomed Pelley's approach and that the tour chief had been consulting with all the players to find a way forward.

"I haven't made that (membership) decision yet," Casey said. "There's a lot that's changing and a lot I would like to know that would shape decisions about next year I have yet to make."

AFP

Shanghai: Former world number three Paul Casey said Friday he is "in constant discussions" about returning to the European Tour and becoming eligible for next year's Ryder Cup.

Casey, who lives in Arizona, gave up his European Tour membership this year to cut down on travelling and spend more time with his second wife, Pollyanna Woodward, and their young son, Lex, who is 14 months old.

The move revitalised the 38-year-old Englishman's career and he has risen to 24th in the world from 75th at the start of the year.

Casey would currently be a shoo-in for captain Darren Clarke's team to play at Hazeltine in the United States if available, but players have to be a member of the European Tour to qualify.

Just a month ago Casey was reported as saying he would not take up his membership again, something seen as a huge snub to the European Tour.

Casey is still bitter at being left out in 2010 when he was in the world's top 10 but Colin Montgomerie instead gave a Ryder Cup wild card to the out-of-form Padraig Harrington.

But he said Friday that following "encouraging" discussions with new European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley he could envisage a scenario where he would rejoin and play in the Ryder Cup.

"I want to be supportive to him (Pelley) and the tour as well," Casey told AFP after a second round 72 at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai left him at five-under par, nine shots behind the leader Kevin Kisner.

"We're in constant discussions, that's the best way to put it."

'Need to know'

England's Ian Poulter was forced to make a last-minute dash from Florida to Hong Kong two weeks ago to keep his European Tour card.

He was in grave danger of not reaching the Tour's 13-event minimum after falling out of the world's top 50 which guarantees entry into this week's WGC-HSBC Champions.

The favoured rule change appears to be switching to a minimum of five events outside of the co-sanctioned majors and WGCs, which means that falling out of the top 50 would not put someone in Poulter's predicament.

Players could fix their schedule of five events at the start of the year safe in the knowledge that it would not have to be shuffled if their top 50 status changed.

It would also guarantee top 50 players featuring in at least 13 European Tour events -- as happens now -- five regular tour events plus four majors and four WGCs.

Pelley told AFP earlier this week that he would love to have Casey back.

"We've had a discussion. We'll get together again soon," Pelley said in Shanghai on the sidelines of the HSBC Golf Business Forum.

"Paul's a great star who has been playing well. Hopefully he'll rejoin the tour and be back with us for some events next year."

Casey said he welcomed Pelley's approach and that the tour chief had been consulting with all the players to find a way forward.

"I haven't made that (membership) decision yet," Casey said. "There's a lot that's changing and a lot I would like to know that would shape decisions about next year I have yet to make."

AFP