After a successful season playing exclusively on the PGA Tour, Paul Casey may bypass European Tour membership in 2016 - even if it costs him a potential Ryder Cup spot.
The Englishman spent several years flying from coast to coast while playing both tours, but with a new wife and young child based in Arizona, Casey opted out of his European Tour membership for 2015. The schedule consolidation led to a revival of his game, as Casey made it to the Tour Championship thanks in large part to playoff losses at both the Northern Trust Open and Travelers Championship. After starting the year ranked No. 75, Casey is now up to No. 23 in the world.
Should that momentum continue, Casey would be a strong consideration for the European squad at Hazeltine next fall, an event in which he last played in 2008. But according to the Daily Mail, Casey may still opt out of membership in Europe, a decision that would make him ineligible for the Ryder Cup.
"I will be brutally honest with you. I love the European Tour and I'd like to be a part of a better tour, but I want to see change," Casey said. "I'm really not sure I'm going to rejoin."
According to the report, Casey will meet this week in London with Keith Pelley, the new chief executive of the European Tour. At the heart of Casey's hesitation is the circuit's requirement that members play at least 13 events, a minimum that results in thousands of extra miles of travel for top Europeans who, like Casey, are based in the U.S.
"I've been able to work much harder on my game because I've cut down on the travelling, and I've got the rewards," he said. "I'd do it tomorrow if they dropped the quota of 13 events to 11, but is that going to happen?"
As for the Ryder Cup, Casey would like to be a part of the European team but still may bear some scars from 2010, when he was passed over by captain Colin Montgomerie for the team at Celtic Manor despite being one of the top-ranked players in the world at the time.
"I think I could make a massive contribution to the European team," Casey said, "but I didn't get picked in 2010 when I was in the world's top 10, so who's to say I'd make it even if I did rejoin?"