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Page last updated at 11:08 GMT, Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Ian Poulter may face choice between US & European tours

Singapore Open
Courses:
Tanjong course and three at Serapong Date: 11-14 November
Coverage: Leaderboard & reports on BBC website, live on Sky Sports 3


Ian Poulter
Poulter faces an uncertain future over where he plays his golf

Ian Poulter says an increasing number of mandatory events on the European Tour could make it impossible to commit to also playing in the United States.

Ryder Cup team-mate Rory McIlroy said this week he was rejecting the PGA Tour along with new number one Lee Westwood.

Players will have to play 13 events to retain their card in Europe next year.

"Hopefully it won't get more difficult as I will have to make a decision myself," said Poulter ahead of his Singapore Open title defence this week.

Defending champion Poulter is among the 204-man field for the event which boasts three of the four major winners this year - American Phil Mickelson and two of Europe's Ryder Cup heroes Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer.

Also playing is Italian Francesco Molinari a week after winning the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, along with Asia's first major winner YE Yang and three-time major winner Padraig Harrington.

Poulter admits his ultimate aim is to become the world number one but his immediate concern is where he plays most of his golf next year.

The 34-year-old Englishman joined the US Tour as a 'special temporary member' in August 2004 but now faces a big decision after the European Tour opted in October to increase the number of mandatory events to retain Tour membership from 12 to 13.

IAIN CARTER'S BLOG

"I have a house over in the States and my family is well settled over there, but then you can't deny playing two tours is becoming increasingly difficult, especially with the European Tour number you have to play going up," he added.

"It was 11 events two years ago before it went to 12 and now it's up to 13, and that's on top of having to play the mandatory 15 across the 'Pond'."

Northern Ireland's McIlroy announced on Tuesday he was shunning the PGA Tour with the number nine in the world admitting he missed the "camaraderie" among the European players when competing in the US.

With the 21-year-old explaining he wanted to be nearer his girlfriend Holly and that he enjoyed his family life at home, Poulter said that he understood McIlroy's decision.

"Rory's young and he's got plenty of time to play wherever he wants," said the world number 15.

"He's top 10 in the world and he is going to stay top 10 in the world for a long time but then Lee Westwood has done exactly the same. He's now world number one so it hasn't harmed him not playing over there."

Kaymer sees this week's event in Singapore as a vital step in cementing his lead in the race to the season-ending Dubai World Championship, with US Open champion McDowell favourite to close the gap on him.

"My first priority at the start of the year was to win the Race to Dubai as I was not expecting to win a major," said the German. "I had the belief from last year that I could do it."



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see also
McIlroy to focus on European Tour
09 Nov 10 |  Golf
Westwood rejects US Tour invite
06 Oct 10 |  Golf
Kaymer slumps in top spot pursuit
29 Oct 10 |  Golf
Kaymer aims to usurp Woods at top
27 Oct 10 |  Golf
Poulter in hunt after early slip
09 Sep 10 |  Golf
McDowell seals Cup win for Europe
04 Oct 10 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf


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