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Kaymer likely to pass on PGA Tour membership is golfs balance of power shifting to Europe

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The PGA Tour's no longer home to the world's top-ranked player, and it's apparently not all that inviting to a possible future No. 1 from overseas.

Martin Kaymer’s nearly made up his mind about joining the PGA Tour next year, according  to a report in London's Daily Mail. Though Kaymer's PGA Championship victory makes him eligible for PGA Tour membership, he’s preparing to pass. At least that’s the word from his agent.

“Martin is almost certain to follow Lee [Westwood] and not take out U.S. Tour membership next year,” Johan Elliott, Kaymer’s agent, told the newspaper. “He feels that joining the U.S. Tour would be too much work and give him no freedom in his schedule. The problem is the U.S. Tour is just too rigid.”

Makes you wonder how the balance of power might shift hard toward Europe if Tiger Woods doesn't regain his winning form.

Six of the top 10 players in this week's world rankings are from Europe. Just two Euros ranked among the top 10 in the world at the start of 2008. Plus, the most compelling competition in a non-major this year is being played in Shanghai at this week's WGC-HSBC Champions.

Last month, before he ascended to No. 1 in the world, Westwood said he wouldn’t take up the PGA Tour membership available to him after he won in Memphis this summer.

At the Dunhill Links, Westwood cited reasoning supplied by his agent, Chubby Chandler: “Chubby said, `Why would you take up membership [in] the states when you have been the most successful player in the world this year, through the injury, and you still have a great chance to go to world No 1? You have come in second in two major championships. You must be doing something right.’ And I don’t want to get into a situation where I have to play events in America just to make up 15 [needed for tour membership].”