Although he called Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood’s decision to split time between the PGA Tour and European circuit in 2012 “a little strange,” Martin Kaymer toyed with the idea of playing both tours right up until last Tuesday’s deadline.
The former world No. 1 did not take up PGA Tour membership after winning the 2010 PGA Championship but, according to his manager with Sportyard, winning this month’s WGC-HSBC Champions in China would have made it easier for him to hold duel membership.
“Because he can play (the winner’s-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Kapalua to begin the year) that might allow him to do it,” Sportyard’s Johan Elliot told GTC at last week’s Presidents Cup.
The minimum number of starts on the PGA Tour is 15, while the European circuit’s minimum is 13. Eight tournaments – the four majors and four World Golf Championships – count toward both minimums.
But Elliot pointed out the new FedEx Cup playoff structure makes it difficult for a player to assure themselves at least 15 starts in the United States and Kaymer, who can play 11 events as a non-member next year on the PGA Tour, must also focus on making next year’s Ryder Cup team.