Paul Casey rejoins European Tour to try and qualify for 2018 Ryder Cup

Paul Casey stopped playing the European Tour a few years ago because he and his wife were having a child, and he was focusing on other goals in his career. He'd fallen out of the top 50 in the world, and playing the European Tour (in addition to the PGA Tour) based on its regulations at the time for players outside the top 50 in the world was a lot tougher than it is now.

Now with a resurgence in his game and some refreshed European Tour rules, Casey is back on the European Tour for 2018. According to Golfweek, he will make his first start of the new season at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. 

Casey is up to No. 15 in the world after a lights out 2017 in which he notched nine top 10s and made nearly $4 million on the PGA Tour. The European Tour recently relaxed its standard to four European events (down from five) outside the WGCs and majors required for membership in 2018. 

Casey rightfully torched the European Tour last year for not making it easier for the top players to play both tours, and they responded by bumping the standard down by one non-WGC and non-major event. It's a win-win for everyone because the underlying part of this story is that Casey is rejoining the Euro Tour mostly because of the 2018 Ryder Cup. You can't play for the European Ryder Cup team unless you're a part of that tour, and Casey will not have a terrific chance of making his fourth team.

He previously won in 2004 and 2006 and lost in 2008.

"As hard as it was trying to make it work three years ago -- struggling with my game, dropping out of the top 50 -- I have missed it (the European Tour) too much," Casey told Golfweek. "I have missed my contribution to English golf, British golf, my contribution to Europe."

He's also missed the Ryder Cup.

"I want to play another Ryder Cup, and that's why I need to do this," Casey told the Associated Press. "It was really important to me. But it's not just the Ryder Cup. I missed playing on the European Tour and being part of English golf. It's home. I know that I'm in Arizona and I'll continue to live there. But I missed a piece of me the last three years."

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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