Poulter: Euro Tour shouldn't 'roll over' on member criteria


Last week’s mad dash from Orlando to Hong Kong hasn’t led Ian Poulter to reconsider his stance on the European Tour’s membership criteria.

After falling out of the top 50 in the world, Poulter was on the verge of losing his tour membership and being ineligible for the 2016 Ryder Cup when Rich Beem decided to forfeit his sponsor exemption into the Hong Kong Open. 

Still, Poulter said it would be a mistake for the circuit to relax the rules for international players who play on both sides of the Atlantic.

“You can’t expect the European Tour to roll over and allow all their guys to disappear,” Poulter told reporters Tuesday at the Turkish Airlines Open. “It really is the one thing that’s kept the European Tour together, the Ryder Cup.” 

New European Tour CEO Keith Pelley has reportedly talked with players about the possibility of reducing the number of required starts (currently 13) each season. Paul Casey has already decided to forgo European Tour membership – and a potential spot on the Ryder Cup team – to focus on the PGA Tour and his young family in the States.

“I am not going to sit here and turn around and say they need to be slashed to eight, nine or 10,” Poulter told reporters. “Rules have had to be put in place to protect the tour and it’s difficult. … They are definitely looking into it and I’m sure they will make the right decision. Keith Pelley has his finger on the pulse. He’s definitely a decision-maker; he’s someone that likes to listen to the players and I think he’s going to do a good job because of that.”