The European Tour officially announced changes to its Final Series and membership policy on Tuesday.
As reported last week, the tour in 2016 will conclude its season with a three-event series, not four. The WGC-HSBC Champions is dropping out of the rotation, and the BMW Masters will be replaced by the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa.
Also confirmed Tuesday was the reduction of mandatory events for members, from 13 (including the four World Golf Championship events and four majors) to five (excluding those events). This change should only affect the Europeans who are members of both tours, play primarily in the States and are outside the top 50 in the world.
The tour’s membership policy came under scrutiny last month when Ian Poulter made a last-minute trip to play in the Hong Kong Open because he had failed to qualify for the HSBC Champions and would have lost his tour membership because he didn’t play 13 events. Only European Tour members are eligible for the Ryder Cup.
“This, I believe, will allow our players to schedule more efficiently at the beginning of the year, so they know exactly how they are going to maintain their membership,” European Tour CEO Keith Pelley said.