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Ian Woosnam asks players to play in Europe

European Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam will be asking potential team members competing mainly on the U.S. Tour to play more in Europe.

Europeans can make points from two tables, five from the world points table taken from world ranking points, and five from a European table taken from European Tour results, with two wild cards.

Woosnam believes too many Europeans will be playing for world points in America over the next year. To make his task easier, especially over wild cards, he wants to them to change their schedules to play for European points as well.

Although Justin Rose has recently decided to play more in Europe to try to earn points, players like Sergio Garcia, Jose Maria Olazabal, Bernhard Langer and Alex Cejka will play a full U.S. Tour season.

Luke Donald, defending champion at this week's European Masters, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood also have heavy U.S. schedules.

"These guys have to make up their minds what they want to do," Woosnam told reporters on Wednesday, the day before the points tables start.

"If they only leave themselves one option, they might miss out on the team."

Europe's captain used Donald, who eventually earned a wild card after coming back from America to qualify last year, as an example.

"Luke Donald came over and made the effort last time, although he didn't quite make the team automatically," Woosnam said.

"These guys have got the opportunity to do the same and hopefully they will come back to our tour and play.

"I will be speaking to them. I want that sort of player in the team."

Spaniard Garcia, the world number six, has said he is confident he can make the team from the world points table.

Woosnam was surprised, however, when he heard Garcia was spurning the chance of amassing points by missing the World Match Play Championship and the Champions event in Shanghai, both offering huge Ryder Cup points.

"It is disappointing he's doing that," Woosnam added. "He's taking a risk. I can't understand why. I'm playing with him tomorrow, so I'll ask him."

One of Woosnam's problems is that Europeans in the world top 50, playing world championships and majors, can afford to compete almost full-time in the U.S. because they only need four regular European Tour events for their mandatory 11 tournaments.

That also leaves Europeans not in the world top 50, who want to use their U.S. Tour cards, opting to lose their European Tour membership and forfeiting their Ryder Cup chances in preference to playing in America. Britain's Greg Owen is one player to do so recently.

The European Tour is to review its membership system next week but any new decision will not affect the Ryder Cup campaign.

 

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