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Page last updated at 12:05 GMT, Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Martin Kaymer opts for European Tour over USPGA Tour

Martin Kaymer
Kaymer in Dubai ahead of the final event of the European season

USPGA champion Martin Kaymer has elected not to play on the American Tour next year and will stay in Europe.

The 25-year-old German, who is vying for the European Tour's Race to Dubai money list, is eligible to play in the US following his major win in August.

But world number three Kaymer said: "To play both doesn't fit schedule-wise, I consider the European Tour as my home."

Earlier this month Ryder Cup team-mate Rory McIlroy said he was giving up his US Tour card to return to Europe.

Kaymer could have taken up a five-year exemption in America following his play-off victory against Bubba Watson to win the USPGA title at Whistling Straits.

Britons Paul Casey and Justin Rose have moved to the US Tour in recent years but world number one Lee Westwood has also pledged to stay in Europe.

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Kaymer is currently 290,000 euros ahead of second-placed Graeme McDowell in the Race to Dubai, ahead of the final tournament of the season, the Dubai World Championship, which starts on Thursday.

Both players have the chance to acquire £1.7m this weekend, with £777,000 to the winner and the bonus of becoming European number one a cool £932,024.

He said of his decision to stay based in Europe: "I think you play against the best players in the world. You have all of the great players here.

"I will stick to the European Tour. I will play probably two or three more events in America but I will play in Europe."

George O'Grady, the chief executive of the European Tour, was delighted at the news, particularly as the minimum required number of events for a player to compete in has risen from 12 to 13.

"Naturally enough we're delighted he's going to show us such full support," he said. "The dates set a tough challenge for everybody on where they play and we've always said to players that you must do what's right for your development as a player.

"To be a great golfer you've got to be a great player in America as well, but you are going to go there for the three majors if you are at that level, three world championships and other ones.

"Playing the European Tour gives you those opportunities. They can play anywhere in the world now."



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see also
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf
Poulter clinches Hong Kong Open
21 Nov 10 |  Golf
Poulter torn between US & Europe
10 Nov 10 |  Golf
McIlroy to focus on European Tour
09 Nov 10 |  Golf
Kaymer wins controversial USPGA
16 Aug 10 |  Golf


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