AFTER THE ENORMOUS Stateside success of Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy fellow Northern Irishman Michael Hoey is intent on joining them on the lucrative PGA Tour next season.
Hoey, speaking here ahead of the Irish Open, said he intends to enter the PGA Tour qualifying school at the end of this year.
“The timing is right for me because after my two wins in the Dunhill Links Championship and the Hassan II Trophy I’m exempt to the end of 2014 so I’m not under any pressure playing in Europe.”
Hoey has won four times on the European Tour with victories in Portugal in 2009, twice last year in capturing the Madeira Islands Open and the prestigious Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Earlier this year he won the Hassan 11 Trophy in Morocco.
Whetting the appetite of the Belfast-born Hoey is the thought of competing on a Tour boasting 45 tournaments for a combined prize purse of some $250 million.
“What they play for in the States each week is unbelievable in events like the World Matchplay and Doral, and the prize funds in the smaller tournaments is still $3.5m,” he said.
“I would still start my new season in Europe with the Desert Swing because I like those three events before heading to America and stay over there until Wentworth and the BMW PGA in May.
“And who wouldn’t want the opportunity to play for Wentworth-size money every week in very good weather on very good greens.”
Hoey’s contested just two PGA Tour events in his career and they were both in 2002 when he contested the Masters as the then reigning British Amateur champion.
He also contested the Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial the next month but missed the cut in both events.
He said: “I know it will be tough to get a Tour card, but I’m going to give it a go as a bit of an adventure and I also want to see what I could do over there rather than look back in a few years and ask ‘Why didn’t I give it a go?’”