Paul Casey will not be able to represent Europe in the 2016 Ryder Cup after he declined to take up European Tour membership for the upcoming season.
"With my wife and young son as a priority, I have decided to concentrate on the PGA Tour which has worked well for us this past year as I have climbed back up the rankings," Casey said to the Press Association. "I am very sad not to have the chance to qualify for the 2016 European Ryder Cup team, but I believe this decision will help me to be the best I can be both on and off the course and is the right decision for my family."
The Englishman Casey, who makes his home in Arizona, gave up his European Tour membership, a prerequisite for making the European Ryder Cup team, after the 2014 season to focus on the PGA Tour, and it yielded dividends in the form of two playoff losses, at the Northern Trust Open and Travelers Championship. The Englishman made it to the Tour Championship and is now inside the top 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking. If the PGA Tour had given out a Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2015, Casey would have won it.
European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley announced this week that he was making changes to the tour's membership requirements, dropping the 13-event floor that included the four majors and four World Golf Championships events and replacing it with asking members to play in five European Tour-specific events. Pelley had hoped Casey would take up membership with the tweaked requirements.
"I respect Paul's decision but, as I said on Tuesday of this week, we have made it very easy for players to retain their membership of the European Tour by only having to play five out of 37 tournaments outside the majors and World Golf Championships," Pelley said. "If that is not feasible for Paul, then there is not much else we can do."
Casey played on three consecutive Ryder Cup teams from 2004-08 but was left off the 2010 team by captain Colin Montgomerie despite his place in the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking.