- Paul Casey is thinking of rejoining the European Tour after a three-year exile
- Casey rejected the tour because he has a young family and didn’t want to travel
- But admitted he ‘likes what he sees’ in regards to changes made by Tour chief
- Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn said the pair have regular conversations
- And he is hopeful Casey will return which will make him eligible for selection
Derek Lawrenson for the Daily Mail
Paul Casey has indicated he is ready to end his three-year exile and rejoin the European Tour. The Arizona-based Englishman was badly missed at last year’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine and on present form would certainly be an asset in Paris next year.
Casey gets on well with current captain Thomas Bjorn and says the pair have been ‘in constant dialogue’. It doesn’t need a codebreaker to surmise what most of those talks have been about.
The 40-year-old, from Surrey, has also been impressed with the changes made by Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and recognises he has a big decision to make at the end of the year. ‘The change to four events from five to become a European Tour member is a big one for me,’ admitted Casey.
Paul Casey is keeping his options open and has indicated he may rejoin the European Tour
He has not played on the Tour for three years but a return could result in a Ryder Cup spot
‘I like what I’m seeing generally, though.’
Casey has not played in a home Ryder Cup since 2006, when he was one of the stars at the K Club as Europe dismantled the Americans. He was ranked seventh in the world when overlooked by Colin Montgomerie in 2010 and was badly hurt by the snub.
Since then he has rebuilt his career successfully in America following a slump, and firmly established himself as one of the top 20 players in the world, albeit one who doesn’t win enough.
His reasons for not rejoining the European Tour before now were logical enough. He has a young family and wanted to cut down on the travel, and also pointed to the alarming slide down the rankings of players of a similar age who tried to play both tours, such as Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald and Ian Poulter.
Now, he is seriously tempted to have a change of heart, which would make him eligible for the Ryder Cup, and Bjorn is hopeful.
Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn is hoping the 40-year-old will be available for selection
‘I don’t want to say too much but Paul is clearly in a very good place with his golf and he has some big decisions to make,’ the big Dane said.
‘We have a very open dialogue and while we don’t know what the next 12 months will bring in golf terms, of course I’d like him to be available.’
Casey would rejoin in time for the big qualifying events taking place in the build-up to the match, which will be weighted to reflect the fact Bjorn wants a team based on form. He will also have four wild cards to select.