Paul Casey is typically a lock to tee it up at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, an event he won in both 2007 and 2009. This week, though, he's skipping it to play in the Sony Open, a decision that makes more sense in light of a Golfweek report that the Englishman has given up his European Tour membership to instead focus on the PGA Tour.
"It's the first time I haven't had membership since forever," he said.
After a successful 2014, Casey had some options. A win at the KLM Open in September secured his playing privileges on the European Tour through 2016, while he also earned a PGA Tour card by making the FedEx Cup Playoffs. This season he has full status in the U.S. for the first time since 2011.
Casey and his wife reside in Arizona and welcomed their first child in September, both factors in his decision to create a playing schedule that will include less travel.
Casey had been a member of the European Tour since 2001, and his 13 European Tour victories are fourth all-time among Englishmen, trailing only Nick Faldo (30), Lee Westwood (23) and Mark James (18). His lone PGA Tour win came at the 2009 Shell Houston Open, and last season he compiled nine top-25 finishes in 16 PGA Tour starts while playing on past-champion status.