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Graeme McDowell ready to embrace change

By Kevin Garside

A world tour is one option under consideration to appease a growing number of top players who are finding their European Tour commitments getting in the way of preparing for major championships by competing on the US Tour.

Graeme McDowell believes there will be change.

Speaking yesterday after taking a two-stroke first-round lead in the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament here with a five-under-par 67, the former US Open champion was forthright in his opinion.

"Let's be honest, there's no shortage of phenomenal events around the globe now and players are having to become more selfish because schedules are hard to put together [when] you have to condition yourself to prepare for the major championships and big events," he said.

To represent Europe in the Ryder Cup, players must commit to playing a minimum of 13 European events a year - and not many are prepared to give up the privilege.

To those who play most of their golf on the US PGA Tour, this can complicate their schedule as they juggle commitments on both sides of the Atlantic.

Now the players are being given the chance to air their views. And while professing loyalty to Europe, there is little doubt that most would like more flexibility.

McDowell added: "We've been asked for our views [by David Williams, the European Tour chairman] on where the future of the European Tour lies. We all realise that things have got to change from the point of view of the top players; where they play and when they play."

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