Wednesday, January 21, 2009

US Rookie of Year Snedeker expected to

take up European Tour membership

US PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Brandt Snedeker is set to become the latest American player to join the European Tour following the introduction of the lucrative Race to Dubai.
Anthony Kim joined the tour before last November's HSBC Champions, while fellow Ryder Cup winner Boo Weekley will play at this week's Qatar Masters after taking up membership last week.
Snedeker is now expected to sign before tee-off in Doha tomorrow.
Snedeker, 28, finished third at the Masters and ninth at the US Open last year after winning his maiden Tour title at the Wyndham Championship in 2007.
The American influx has been welcomed by world No 11 Henrik Stenson. "It was definitely one of the thoughts when they launched the Race to Dubai, to try to attract stronger fields to tournaments and to the Tour in general," said Stenson.
"Obviously the Race to Dubai has done that and I am delighted to see more of the American tour players coming over to play in Europe. I see them on a regular basis when I'm competing in America but it's developing perfectly for everyone to play against the best fields now on a weekly basis."
The Race to Dubai and season-ending Dubai World Championship, which have a total prize pool of $20m (£11.25m), are designed to rival the FedEx Cup Series in America. Players must take part in 12 tournaments to qualify, although that breaks down to five regular events as the four majors and three World Golf Championship events count towards the total.
Last year Stenson finished seventh on the Order of Merit, which was replaced by the Race to Dubai, after recording nine top-10 finishes, including a share of third at The Open at Royal Birkdale. The Swede is 14th in the Race to Dubai, which is led by world number two Sergio García.
This week's Qatar Masters will have 18 players from the world's top 50 teeing off at Doha Golf Club, including defending champion Adam Scott, García, Ernie Els, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose.
"The biggest benefit as players is that we get to play against stronger fields in Europe and on the Race to Dubai schedule," added Stenson, who missed the cut at last week's Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
"It's going to mean not only more world ranking points but bigger interest around the world in our events and that can only be good for the European Tour."
Meanwhile, Oliver Wilson is confident of overcoming the star-studded field to claim a maiden European Tour victory. The 28-year-old was disappointed with his 37th-place finish at last week's Abu Dhabi Championship, which followed an agonising second in a high-class field at the HSBC Champions and sixth at the Hong Kong Open at the end of 2008.
"The field is one of the strongest ever assembled on the European Tour and one which would be great to play well at," said Wilson. "I am feeling good physically and hopefully after a couple of good practice days I will be back to business, trying to win that elusive maiden victory."



Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google