Paul Casey sent a stern warning to Rory McIlroy that all hell would break loose if he gave up his membership on the European Tour.
Casey ditched Europe several years ago when he attended Arizona State University. Although he made America his home from then on, he played on both tours for several years before giving up his European Tour status in January.
McIlroy is also spending most of his time in America, making only occasional appearances at select European Tour events. According to Casey, if the Northern Irishman gives up his European card, it would severely dent the credibility of that tour.
“Hypothetically what would happen if Rory didn’t take up membership of the European Tour? All hell would break loose, it would be damaging,” the Casey said.
Casey acknowledged that the American lifestyle is more attractive. The PGA TOUR season is firmly based in America, unlike the European Tour that co-sanctions events in Australia and Asia on top of a busy European summer schedule. Many European Tour players also make appearances in the States to play the bigger events.
“Without naming names, I’ve had Ryder Cup players say to me they are envious of what I am doing. I’m talking serious players. They have to run around a lot more than me (serving both tours) so if it comes to pass that more and more guys do what I have done it becomes a massive problem,” added Casey.
The European Tour lag way behind the PGA TOUR in terms of prize money and reputation, and losing a star like McIlroy would create a monumental problem for them. With McIlroy being a huge television draw, the European Tour would struggle to secure big sponsorships with the likes of HSBC, BMW and KLM.
While four-time major winner McIlroy is the darling of Europe, he has been spending more time in the States this year, with some sources claiming he is considering a full-time move there in either 2016 or 2017.