Poulter feels the strain of playing two tours

Britain`s Ian Poulter says he may have to choose between the U.S. and European tours due to the growing demands of playing on both sides of the Atlantic.

Poulter, who joined the U.S. Tour as a `special temporary member` in August 2004, told Reuters on Wednesday that the increasing number of mandatory events in Europe made it difficult to be competitive on two tours.

Ryder Cup team mate Rory McIlroy announced on Tuesday he no longer wanted to play the mandatory number of tournaments required in the United States and joined new world number one Lee Westwood in rejecting the card to stay in Europe.

Poulter said he understood McIlroy`s decision.

"Rory`s young and he`s got plenty of time to play wherever he wants," Poulter told Reuters ahead of his Singapore Open title defence this week.

"He`s top 10 in the world and he is going to stay top 10 in the world for a long time, but then Lee Westwood has done exactly the same. He`s now world number one so it hasn`t harmed him not playing over there.

"I have a house over in the States and my family is well settled over there, but then you can`t deny playing two tours is becoming increasingly difficult, especially with the European Tour number you have to play going up to 13 from next year."

The European Tour decided last month to increase the number of mandatory events from 12 to 13 to retain Tour membership.

"It was 11 (events) two years ago before it went to 12 and now it`s up to 13, and that`s on top of having to play the mandatory 15 across the `Pond`.

"Hopefully, it doesn`t get any more difficult as I will have to make a decision myself."

Bureau Report

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