ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Jason Dufner is considering widening his horizons by competing more in Europe and could decide to become a member of the tour in future, the United States Ryder Cup player said on Wednesday.
Dufner is 11th in the world rankings after winning twice on the U.S. PGA Tour last season and making his debut appearance in the Ryder Cup.
He was also runner-up to compatriot Bo Van Pelt at the European Tour’s Perth International event in Australia in October and is looking forward to competing in this week’s Abu Dhabi Championship and the Qatar Masters tournament that follows.
”I’ve had the opportunity the last couple of years with my play in the U.S. to... come over and play these events,“ he told reporters on Wednesday. ”I think it’s a good thing to compete around the world and see where you stack up.
”We are pretty spoiled in the U.S. We just kind of play in one area and people are pretty focused on the PGA Tour but there are a lot of other tours and a lot of other great events around the world.
“I’ve discussed taking up membership of the European Tour, I thought about possibly doing it this year,” said Dufner.
“With the four majors and the World Golf Championships counting as events and throw in three or four more that would also count, it may be a possibility in the future.”
Dufner, 35, said it could only improve his game to mix up his playing schedule.
“I think it makes you a little bit of a better player to come over here and experience golf in different places against different golfers,” he added.
“It’s up to the individual and I can see both sides of the argument. Guys in the U.S. get comfortable and they want to stay close to their families and obviously travelling over here can be difficult for some.”
Dufner is normally calm and reserved on the course but he provided the occasional excitable fist-pump at the Ryder Cup where he was one of his team’s standout performers, winning three points out of a possible four.
”Usually when I‘m out playing there are maybe 25 or 30 people watching me,“ he said. ”At the Ryder Cup the holes are just packed with people - the atmosphere is unbelievable and I’d never experienced anything like that.
“It takes over and the moment kind of gets inside your body I guess. A couple of fist-pumps here and there were probably much needed.”
Editing by Alison Wildey