His good form in the Fed Ex Cup has posed the question about why Paul Casey is not eligible for the Ryder Cup. The Englishman took himself out of contention for Team Europe and we look at whether Darren Clarke will miss Paul Casey at Hazeltine.
Why Paul Casey is not eligible for the Ryder Cup
Looking at Paul Casey’s career record – one PGA Tour win, 13 European Tour titles and two triumphs in Asia – it is clear to see that his three Ryder Cup appearances (twice on the winning side) would be among his greatest achievements. Making the 12-man team to face the Americans not only places you at the very centre of the sporting world for three autumn days but is also recognition for a consistent level elite performance. Why then did Paul Casey rule himself out of Darren Clarke’s team? Here we look at why Paul Casey is not eligible for the Ryder Cup.
European Tour Membership
The simple answer to the question is because Paul Casey did not take up his membership of the European Tour. In order to encourage more of the top players to compete in territories outside the US, players must take up membership of the European Tour to be eligible for European selection. This means competing in five regular Tour events (excluding majors and WGCs). For Rory McIlroy (who is also based in the US) this meant competing in Abu Dhabi and Dubai at the start of the season and then in Ireland in May and France in July. The Northern Irishman will reach his quota of Tour events by competing in the Final Series events at the end of the season.
Why Paul Casey said no
For the Englishman the commitment of competing in five regular European Tour explains why Paul Casey is not eligible for the Ryder Cup. Casey lives in Arizona and plays full time on the PGA Tour. He is engaged to television presenter Pollyanna Woodward, has a young son and his decision not to take up membership of the European Tour has precluded him from making Darren Clarke’s team. Earlier this year, Casey told Sky Sports, “My decision was never about the Ryder Cup, which is what I always get asked. The decision was about what’s best for my family, and unfortunately, the by-product is what it is.”
After a dismal run of defeats the US team has changed its qualifying process. Three players are selected after the BMW Championship on September 12th and the final pick comes after the Tour Championship on September 26th. This is to allow the captain, in this case Davis Love III, to select the most inform players for his team. The European Team selection process finished on August 28th – over a month before the Ryder Cup starts. Even if Paul Casey was eligible, his run of form in the Fed Ex Cup playoffs would likely have been too late to earn him a pick regardless of his own decision. If the Surrey man goes on to greater success within the PGA Tour’s end of season series, it may encourage a change in the European Ryder Cup selection rules to ensure one of the most inform players in the world doesn’t slip through the net.
Will Clarke miss Casey
An inform Paul Casey is a world-class performer. He reached world number three in 2009 and after a run of injuries is rediscovering his best form. His Ryder Cup experience would undoubtedly have benefitted a team with so many rookies. Add in is wealth of US Tour experience and Paul Casey is starting to look like a notable omission from the make-up of team Europe. How much will Darren Clarke miss him? Time will tell.