Thu Nov 11 01:23pm EST
Ian Poulter, obviously insanely jealous at all the attention that his Euro mates Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood are receiving these days, is the latest to threaten to cut his ties with the PGA Tour. And the reasons why should give the American tour pause.
The European Tour is requiring players to compete in 13 events in 2011 in order to retain their card. Combine the majors and the World Golf Championship events, and you're looking at a pretty full schedule without a whole lot of time for all of the mandatory 15 PGA Tour events. (Aside: Feel free to take a moment to roll your eyes at the searing agony of trying to choose which of the world's marquee golf courses to play on any given weekend.)
Poulter is now competing in the Singapore Open, the event he won last year. He's facing a challenging field that includes Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer, Francesco Molinari and Padraig Harrington.
Poulter joined the PGA Tour as a "special temporary member" in August 2004. But as the European Tour has increased the mandatory events from 11 to 13 over the last two years, it's becoming tougher for Poulter and others to make the choice.
"I have a house over in the States and my family is well settled over there, but then you can't deny playing two tours is becoming increasingly difficult, especially with the European Tour number you have to play going up," he said before teeing off.
Poulter's a love-him-or-loathe-him clown, but he's nonetheless got a point: The two tours are ratcheting up their us-or-them mentality, and if the PGA Tour wants to retain its international players, it's going to have to figure a way to offer something to the European contingent.