Luke Donald has sympathised with Greg Owen's decision to resign his European Tour membership - effectively ruling him out of Ryder Cup contention.
Owen has chosen to play full-time in America and will not play the 11 European events necessary for membership, a pre-requisite for cup selection.
Donald found himself in a similar situation last year before a compromise deal with the tour was reached, the 27-year-old then being awarded one of Bernhard Langer's two wild cards for the record victory in Detroit.
"I can sympathise," said the former Walker Cup star, who had also resigned his membership before the tour agreed he need only play all 11 events if he made the team.
Without that agreement he could have been banned from the European Tour for up to two years.
"If you're not in the top 50 in the world rankings it is very hard.
"That's why for a long time I played solely in America," said Donald.
"It is almost impossible, it takes too much out of you physically and mentally to play a full 11 events without being in the majors and World Golf Championship events.
"Greg is obviously enjoying playing in America and has had some success and probably feels now is not the right time.
"There is nothing better than playing in the Ryder Cup and I am sure every player wants to play in one, including Greg. But it is very tough when you are not in the top 50.
"You would have to play about 35 events, crisscrossing the Atlantic. You are better off playing less events and concentrating on those rather tiring yourself out and not playing so well and trying to force the issue."
The qualifying system was changed ahead of the last contest to combat such problems, with five players qualifying from world rankings points and five from the order of merit.
But with players choosing to play more events in America, Europe captain Ian Woosnam admits he is concerned about how it will affect the make-up of his side at the K Club in 2006.
"The qualifying system helps the top guys like Sergio Garcia who play most of their golf in the US," added Donald, who won two and a half points at Oakland Hills.
"They can rely on the world rankings and just play their four extra events. But for the other guys it's tough and I don't know if that can be changed. It is a tricky situation."
Being ranked 15th in the world makes it easier for Donald to maintain his European Tour membership but the World Cup winner is happy to play more than the minimum 11 events.
As well as contesting this week's BMW International Open in Munich, he will defend his European Masters title in Switzerland next week and compete for the £1 million first prize on offer in the World Matchplay at Wentworth.
"I'll have to sit down and think about which way I want to qualify," added Donald, who was on a flight to Switzerland this time last year when the wild- card announcement was made, and only found out he was in the team when he received a text message on landing in Geneva.
"I have two ways to qualify but hopefully I will be playing well enough where my world ranking will take care of itself.
"I'll definitely be playing at least 11 events, this year I think I'm playing 14.
"That's a step up from last year. I enjoy playing here and want to split my time again."
So far this season Donald has failed to add to his three career victories, although he was second in the prestigious Players Championship at Sawgrass and an impressive third on his Masters debut at Augusta.
He was also sixth in the NEC Invitational last week, finishing three shots behind Tiger Woods at Firestone.
"I was one round away from playing really well," Donald added.
"The 18th hole cost me last week. I was four-over for the 18th and only lost by three shots.
"A win is still eluding me but you have to stay patient and try not to press too hard. That is what I was doing the last few weeks when I wasn't playing so well.
"As a top player I feel I should be playing well and competing every week and I feel I am certainly capable of winning more than once a year.
"I haven't quite fulfilled that yet but I still have a few events left and am still excited for the rest of the year.
Paul Broadhurst leads the Midlands challenge in Munich and he is joined in the field by fellow Atherstonian Steve Webster, along with John Bickerton ( Droitwich) and David Park (Hereford).