MEDINAH, ILL. (AP) - Now that the Ryder Cup is over, Luke Donald sets out to complete his European Tour schedule.
He has played 10 tournaments that count toward the required 13 events he must play, although he raised one point that Europe might want to consider.
Why shouldn’t the Ryder Cup count?
The PGA Tour for years has counted the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup toward its minimum 15 events for membership. It’s not an official event, and there is money or world ranking points offered.
But in terms of fulfilling commitments to the tour, it might be the longest week of the year.
“It’s one of the busiest weeks we play all year, hence we’d like to get the European Tour to count it as a counting event,” Donald said. “We actually do quite a lot of work that week.”
Donald said he would bring it up to tour officials, and he raised an argument why it should count on Europe even more than it does on the PGA Tour. The European Tour has a financial stake in the Ryder Cup, while net proceeds on the other side of the Atlantic benefit only the PGA of America, not the PGA Tour.
He’s not asking for money, only time.
“We all know what a big revenue maker it is for the European Tour,” he said. “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’ll raise the question. Hopefully they’ll change it. We’ll see. I definitely have the backing of some of the other guys that play out here.”
One of those is Rory McIlroy. They discussed it a week before the Ryder Cup, though the 23-year-old McIlroy is in good shape headed to the final few months of the season. McIlroy already has played in 11 events, and still has the Volvo Masters in Shanghai, plus one more in Asia before the Dubai World Championship.
“He made a pretty convincing case,” McIlroy said of his conversation with Donald. “For guys playing a global schedule, the Ryder Cup should count toward one of those tournaments. Golf is the easy part in the Ryder Cup week. There’s so much going on with gala dinners, photographs.”
One year later, Rory McIlroy is in a position to match him.