LONDON • Former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy has urged the European Tour to scrap its controversial rule barring non-members from competing in the Ryder Cup, the Daily Telegraph reported yesterday.
According to the Northern Irish golfer, the absence of United States-based Englishman Paul Casey "definitely hurt" Europe's bid to win the biennial team competition for a fourth successive time in Minnesota last month.
Europe lost to the United States 11-17 at Hazeltine National, prompting the European Tour to consider changes to its selection criteria for the next edition in Paris.
QUALIFY ON MERIT
It should be the best 12 players from Europe versus the best 12 players from the US. For me, there shouldn't be anything to do with membership of tours.
RORY MCILROY, the world No. 2 golfer from Northern Ireland, wants the European Tour to scrap a rule that bars non-members from featuring in the Ryder Cup.
"It should be the best 12 players from Europe versus the best 12 players from the US," world No. 2 McIlroy was quoted as saying. "For me, there shouldn't be anything to do with membership of tours.
"To have a guy like Paul Casey not on our team when he is playing some of the best golf in the world right now, it definitely hurt us (at Hazeltine)."
Casey, the world No. 12, has recorded four top-four finishes in his last six starts on the United States PGA Tour and would have been one of the hottest players on the European team at Hazeltine had he qualified for selection.
However, the 39-year-old, who played in three Ryder Cups and was part of Europe's winning teams in 2004 and 2006, is now based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
He has opted not to retain membership of the European Tour, where he would have to compete in a minimum of five tournaments outside the four Majors and four World Golf Championship events.
Europe captain Darren Clarke added three wild-card picks to the nine automatic selections to round out his team for Hazeltine but McIlroy would like to see the entire 12-man line-up qualify on merit in the future.
"I know that isn't as exciting in terms of captain's picks and qualifying process and everything else," McIlroy told the NoLayingUp podcast. "But if we're trying to make it the fairest way for the best 12 to make each team, I think that's the way to go."