Europeans looking for easy Ryder
Golf:Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald want the Ryder Cup to count as a qualifying event towards European Tour membership. The Medinah heroes are required to play a minimum of 13 events sanctioned by the European Tour, but both are finding it tough to fulfil their commitments while based in the US.
Donald and McIlroy also have full playing cards on the PGA Tour, which does count the Ryder Cup as one of their 15 events despite there being no prize money or world rankings points on offer.
"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.
"We all know what a big revenue maker it is for the European Tour. 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."
Donald's comments were supported by world number one McIlroy, who added: "Luke made a pretty convincing case. For guys playing a global schedule, the Ryder Cup should count ... golf is the easy part in the Ryder Cup week. There's so much going on."
Another of those who contributed Europe's historic win was Paul Lawrie, who admits he has ambitions to captain Europe in the competition one day — though not when the defence begins in his home country in 2014.
Lawrie today took the golden trophy to Gleneagles, the venue for the next competition. The Scot beat Brandt Snedeker 5&3 in the singles as the visitors came back from 10-6 down to claim an outright win and retain the trophy.
Lawrie was making his first appearance in the tournament since 1999, the year he won the Open, and the victory proved an identical reversal of the USA’s comeback in Brookline that year. Lawrie, who claimed two European Tour titles this season and is ranked 28th in world, believes he will be in even better form when the Ryder Cup takes place in Scotland.
He does not have his sights set on immediately succeeding Jose Maria Olazabal.
“First and foremost I want to play on the team, " the Aberdonian said. “I think the captain will be picked around February so by then I believe I will still be roughly where I am in the world rankings so I can’t see them picking me as captain, and to be honest I’d rather play and give myself a chance of getting on the team.
“In the future I’d definitely like to do it, but I think just now I’m getting better as I get older as a player so 2014 is just too soon for me. You don’t know what’s going to happen down the line but right now I feel very competitive at 43 and I can’t imagine I’m going to be any less so in two years’ time.
“I think I’m getting better as I get older rather than the other way, so I’d like to think I’ll be on that team at Gleneagles in 2014.”
Lawrie was still savouring the triumph after flying into the Perthshire course on helicopter with the trophy in hand.
“It was a special victory because it’s a tough crowd over there,” he said. “You take it a bit in the neck from their spectators because they want the Americans to win badly, so to turn the score around from 10-6 down to win is just a huge achievement by everyone on the team. I don’t think anyone wanted Jose Maria to be a losing captain so we wanted to make sure we did all we could for him.”