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Donald, McIlroy want Ryder Cup to count for time

Associated Press Published: October 2, 2012
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MEDINAH, Ill. (AP) — Now that the Ryder Cup is over, Luke Donald sets out to complete his European Tour schedule.

He has played 10 tournaments that count toward the required 13 events he must play, although he raised one point that Europe might want to consider.

Why shouldn't the Ryder Cup count?

The PGA Tour for years has counted the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup toward its minimum 15 events for membership. It's not an official event, and there is money or world ranking points offered.

But in terms of fulfilling commitments to the tour, it might be the longest week of the year.

"It's one of the busiest weeks we play all year, hence we'd like to get the European Tour to count it as a counting event," Donald said. "We actually do quite a lot of work that week."

Donald said he would bring it up to tour officials, and he raised an argument why it should count on Europe even more than it does on the PGA Tour. The European Tour has a financial stake in the Ryder Cup, while net proceeds on the other side of the Atlantic benefit only the PGA of America, not the PGA Tour.

He's not asking for money, only time.

"We all know what a big revenue maker it is for the European Tour," he said. "It's a privilege to play Ryder Cup, but it's still a week's worth of sacrifice. I think at the very least it should count as an event. I don't see why it should on one tour and not the other. I'll raise the question. Hopefully they'll change it. We'll see. I definitely have the backing of some of the other guys that play out here."

One of those is Rory McIlroy. They discussed it a week before the Ryder Cup, though the 23-year-old McIlroy is in good shape headed to the final few months of the season. McIlroy already has played in 11 events, and still has the Volvo Masters in Shanghai, plus one more in Asia before the Dubai World Championship.

"He made a pretty convincing case," McIlroy said of his conversation with Donald. "For guys playing a global schedule, the Ryder Cup should count toward one of those tournaments. Golf is the easy part in the Ryder Cup week. There's so much going on with gala dinners, photographs."

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REPEATING THE FEAT: A year ago, Luke Donald made history as the first player to win the money title on the PGA Tour and European Tour in the same year.

One year later, Rory McIlroy is in a position to match him.

McIlroy has wrapped up the PGA Tour money title at just over $8 million. No one can catch him even by entering the final three tournaments and winning. It's a little closer on the European Tour.

McIlroy is leading the money list by about $565,000 over Justin Rose, who has at least three tournaments left to reach his minimum 13 events.

A year ago, Donald thought he had the money title wrapped up until Webb Simpson was runner-up at the McGladrey Classic to go ahead of him. Donald entered Disney, and ran off six straight birdies on the back nine Sunday to win the tournament and wrap up the money title.

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OCHOA RETURNS: Lorena Ochoa returns to competition this week in the Ladies Open of France, which starts Thursday at Chantaco Golf Club.

The 30-year-old Mexican retired from full-time golf in April 2010. She is playing on the request of Lacoste, the title sponsor of the tournament. Ochoa was supposed to play a year ago, but she was pregnant. Her son, Pedro, now is 9 months old.

"They've been very good to me being my sponsor for so long, so I'm happy to be here," Ochoa said. "I'm going to try my best. I don't practice anymore and I'm very relaxed in Mexico. My life is very different right now, so I'm just going to try my best and have a good week and enjoy the crowd and the kids, if they come to watch us."

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