5 European Golfers the PGA Tour Would Like to Lure
The PGA Tour is unquestionably the strongest professional golf tour in the world.
However, some of the strongest players in the world have declined membership. Lee Westwood, ranked second in the world, Rory McIlroy, ranked third, and Matin Kaymer, ranked sixth, all declined membership for the 2011 season.
McIlroy has taken up membership for the 2012 season, but his preliminary schedule leaves much to desire.
Besides these top three players, Matteo Manassero and Alvaro Quiros could spark some intrigue on the PGA Tour.
5. Alvaro Quiros
The Spaniard would instantly challenge for the title of longest hitter on tour. Quiros is averaging an incredible 313.9 yards off the tee on the European Tour. There is always an appeal for the long hitters on the PGA Tour.
Quiros won the Dubai Desert Classic in January. The field included Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer. He had a hot start to 2011, carding a second-place finish at the Qatar Masters and an eight-place finish at the Volvo Championship.
He has struggled since this promising start. He made the cut at both the Masters and US Open, but failed to do so at the British Open and PGA Championship. Qurios' weak point is his poor driving accuracy.
4. Matteo Manassero
Only 18 years old and with two European Tour wins, Manaserro looks to be a future star in the game. Both of wins came before his 18th birthday and occupy the top two spots of youngest winners for the European Tour.
At only 16 years old, he finished in 13th place at the 2009 British Open. In 2010 he became the youngest player to make the cut at the Masters.
Manaserro is currently ranked 43rd in the world and is six months from his 19th birthday. For comparison, Rory McIlroy was ranked 230th in the world at that age.
3. Lee Westwood
Westwood is currently ranked second in the world, and there are few opportunities to view him on the PGA Tour. At 38 years old, there are only a few years left before Westwood will likely drop in form. In 2011 he finished third at the US Open and eighth at the PGA Championship.
Westwood spent 22 weeks as the top ranked player in the world in 2010. In his last 10 major starts, he has five top-three finishes.
He would be a major threat to win the FedEx Cup, which would be ironic considering Westwood is sponsored by UPS.
2. Martin Kaymer
The luster has come off Martin Kaymer as he did not quite live up to big expectations in 2011. He won the 2010 PGA Championship, but has not won since the Abu Dhabi Championship in January. He managed to become the No. 1 golfer in the world for eight weeks early in 2011.
At only 26, Kaymer still has much potential for future greatness. The PGA Tour can only benefit from his presence.
1. Rory McIlroy
The PGA Tour has managed to get McIlroy to take up membership for 2012. He had been a member in 2010, but declined to renew for 2011.
Mission accomplished, right? Not exactly. McIlroy is taking up membership, but will be playing a limited number of events. He will be taking part in the Florida swing of the season and the Wells Fargo Championship. Other than that, you will not see McIlroy in a regular PGA Tour event.
He has declined to play in the Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial and will not be playing in any West Coast or Texas Swing events.
It is nice that McIlroy will be playing more in the United States, but the PGA Tour would benefit if he played a few more events.