Coming to America? Not Edoardo Molinari
Edoardo Molinari is the latest European Tour player to rule out joining the U.S. PGA Tour.
He was expected to follow Graeme McDowell, a new PGA Tour member and fellow Ryder Cup teammate, onto the American circuit.
The 29-year-old Italian, who tied for eighth this weekend at the Volvo Golf Champions in Bahrain, wants to focus on Euro Tour competition instead.
“I just feel it’s impossible to play 15 events on the PGA Tour as is required under its membership rules, along with the 20 that I want to play here on the European Tour,” Molinari told Reuters.
“I will play the Honda Classic, the Bay Hill Invitational because I played so well there last year in finishing second, plus the Players Championship and the Memorial.”
With the four majors and four World Golf Championships, the eldest Molinari brother will play 12 events on the PGA Tour.
“But I am not prepared to play 15, and I can’t see myself taking up membership in the future, as I find the best way to prepare for the majors and the WGCs is to be competing in Europe,” the world No. 19 said.
Rory McIlroy, who competed as a rookie on the PGA Tour last year, also gave up his membership. He said last week that he won’t even play The Players Championship, which features golf’s largest purse.
“I’m not playing TPC this year because I’ve never thought the golf course has set up that well for me,” McIlroy said. “Hence two missed cuts in two years. I have no sort of vendetta against (commissioner) Tim Finchem or the PGA Tour. I love playing in the U.S. and have always found the people very welcoming. I’m sure one day I’ll join the PGA Tour again, but right now I want to put all my efforts into Europe and the Race to Dubai.”
World No. 1 Lee Westwood also said he will skip The Players. He wants to play in the Wells Fargo at Quail Hollow the week before The Players but won’t, citing the PGA Tour rule that holds non-members to a maximum of four events, excluding the WGCs and majors.
“I’d go over for The Players if I could play in the tournament the week before, but I don’t want to pitch up at The Players cold having not played for four weeks since Augusta,” Westwood said. “So I’ll play a couple of tournaments on the European Tour instead.”