Ernie Slams Euro Tour Over Playoff Requirements
By Torleif Sorenson on 11/4/13
Back in September, we told you about a new European Tour edict that requires tour members to play at least one event in their home country, or face a minimum of 15 tour events, versus the usual 13. Now comes word that the tour requires members to play at least two of the three events leading into the final of the Race to Dubai, in order to be eligible for the event.

And Els is p-o'd.
"I can see (the tour's point of view) but it's crazy. I've been playing both tours since 1994 and it's been no problem but for some reason now the European Tour expect us to play a full schedule.

"We used to play seven events and you could keep your card in Europe. Now you have to play more than in America. (That is) the direction they're going in. I just think it's the wrong one.

"I'm going to have to look at my schedule. I was there for the growth of this tour, 22 years, and now they've making it almost impossible for me ... to remain playing the tour.

"All the good things I've done for this tour and a lot of other guys have done for this tour ... They've given me honorary membership and all that but the way they're going is not the right direction.

"You could always play both tours. You've had Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy win both money lists.

"Now we have to make a decision where we never used to do that. Guys are not going to keep doing that. We've got families and schedules to keep."
When considering the U.S. tour's FedEx Cup playoff series, on top of the three U.S.-based majors, this certainly is a lot of playing and travel.

The final four events of the European Tour season take players from China, to Turkey, to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates — in successive weeks!
  1. Oct 24—27:  BMW Masters (Lake Malaren GC, Shanghai, China)

  2. Oct 31—Nov 3:  World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions (Sheshan International GC, Shanghai, China)

  3. Nov 7—10:  Turkish Airlines Open (Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Antalya, Turkey)

  4. Nov 14—17:  DP World Tour Championship (Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Part of Els' reasons might involve his age (44) and his desire to have more time at home with his wife and two children, one of whom has autism. Younger players like Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, and Justin Rose might not object so much.

But when an easy-going, well-liked, deeply-respected, and rarely-criticized player like Ernie Els vents like this, it could signal the beginning of a backlash.

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Image via European Tour

[ comments ]
slimpks1850 says:
Old people don't like change. If he wants to stay home with his family he can. He's got all options open to him. Choice is his. What a luxury!
falcon50driver says:
Dang old people, they should be youthanized.
Matt McGee says:
It sounds like the European tour is trying to exercise control over the European golfers. Seems unlikely to succeed.

Youth is wasted on the young.
[ post comment ]
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