Ryder, Presidents cups to count as Euro starts in '13

Europe's Sergio Garcia, left to right, Luke Donald and Justin Rose celebrate after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill.

Europe's Sergio Garcia, left to right, Luke Donald and Justin Rose celebrate after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill.

The European Tour announced that at the start of the 2013 season, the Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup and the Vivendi Seve Trophy will count toward the minimum number of 13 events for membership on the European Tour.

The announcement comes on the heels of a European victory at the Ryder Cup behind a dramatic four-point rally on Sunday at Medinah in Chicago to retain the Cup. Despite the hard-fought win, no player got any credit for the three days of hard work.

A similar provision has been in place on the PGA Tour, with the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup counting toward the Tour's minimum starts. However, the issue came to light on the European Tour only when Englishman Luke Donald, who is a member of both tours, raised an objection.

“We all know what a big revenue maker it is for the European Tour," Donald said of the Ryder Cup. "It's a privilege to play Ryder Cup, but it's still a week's worth of sacrifice. I think at the very least it should count as an event. I don't see why it should on one tour and not the other. . . . I definitely have the backing of some of the other guys that play out here."

Though the Presidents Cup and Vivendi Seve Trophy participants will get the benefits this coming year, the Ryder Cuppers in 2014 at Gleneagles will be the first to benefit from the rules change.

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