The PGA Tour is still golf's top proving ground, but over the last couple of years, some of the top players in the world have decided to keep their options open, foregoing full-time membership in the States for the opportunity to pick and choose from a list of top-class international events.
Like Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and other big names, the main reason Martin Kaymer has played a majority of his tournaments on international soil isn't because he enjoys racking up the frequent flyer miles (he has a home in Scottsdale, Ariz.); it's because the PGA Tour still enforces a rule that requires players to play at least 15 events to keep full-time status.
It's a rule that has clearly rubbed some players the wrong way recently. One year after declining PGA Tour membership following his PGA Championship victory, Kaymer told Golf Channel's "Morning Drive," on Tuesday, that despite winning another tour sanctioned event -- the HSBC Champions -- he's going to decline the opportunity to take up full-time membership on tour in 2012.
"I put both schedules next to each other — the European Tour and PGA Tour — and unless they will change the amount of tournaments we have to play in America, I'm not going to join the PGA Tour, unfortunately," Kaymer said.
"It has been a crazy season so far already for me, and next year, if I play on both tours, tournament-wise, it will be too much."
Kaymer still has the opportunity to play 10 events on tour next season, including the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions, but based on his decision this week, it's clear we won't be seeing him teeing it up on a full-time basis anytime soon.
Kaymer will not take PGA Tour membership in 2012 [ProGolfTalk]