MELBOURNE, Australia – Adam Scott will consider giving up his European Tour membership next year if players are forced to play designated events.
“I believe it’s becoming harder and harder to play multiple tours,” Scott said Wednesday at the Australian Masters. “My playing poorly this year doesn’t help. But those years of Ernie Els running second in the U.S. and winning the Order of Merit … I don’t think you’re going to see too much of that.”
Scott already has played 22 times this year on the European Tour and the PGA Tour, and he now embarks on the Australasian Tour schedule at the Australian Masters, followed by the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship in December.
Next week is the Dubai World Championship to cap off the European Tour schedule. Scott is No. 44 in the Race to Dubai.
European Tour chief executive George O’Grady said last week it would be announced in Dubai whether the tour will act on a proposal that players compete in four out of six designated events, which could require playing more tournaments in Europe and could force players to alter an already busy schedule.
Scott said he doesn’t blame Europe for considering the stronger membership requirements, saying it needs to protect its sponsors and deliver a strong field. It just might not be for him.
“I think Europe is doing the right thing,” he said. “But if that’s the case, and with where I am with my game, I’m going to have to focus on one or the other and give it 100 percent. Because you run the risk of potentially not playing well on either tour. If you want to compete in the FedEx Cup, you’ve got to spot Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh seven to 10 events. These are not exactly lightweights.”
On the European Tour, he said it is getting tougher to compete against the likes of Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell. McIlroy has played 23 times on the European Tour, compared with 11 tournaments for Scott.
“With the depth of talent on both tours, it’s going to be hard for me to play two tours next year,” he said. “If you finish 20th on one and 15th on another, you don’t know how good that is.”
He said he felt the games of Ian Poulter and Justin Rose also were suffering by trying to play two tours.
Poulter did not reach the FedEx Cup final event on the PGA Tour, and only climbed into the top 10 on Europe two weeks ago by winning in Singapore, his first victory anywhere in three years. Rose only qualified for two FedEx Cup playoff events, and is No. 47 in Europe.
Els has been this generation’s pied piper when it comes to global travel. He won the Order of Merit in 2004 and finished a distant second on the PGA Tour money list in 2004, when he won five times and had a chance to win all four majors.