Els To Skip European Tour's Season-Ending Event After Disapproving Of Playing Demands
Golfer Ernie Els has "described as 'farcical' the European Tour's increased playing demands and will register his disapproval by skipping" next week's season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, according to Andrew Both of REUTERS. He is "annoyed at the tour's new regulation that its members must play two of the three events leading into Dubai to be eligible" for the $8M season finale. Els: "Why would they make a decision like that and expect guys to play? It's farcical. In my view it's an absolute joke." He said that he "understood why the European Tour wanted to coax its top players into contesting more of the big-money Asian tournaments." He said, "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. ... They're making it almost impossible for me to remain playing the tour." Still, the tour is "unlikely to ever lose its top European players -- nearly all of whom covet Ryder Cup selection" (REUTERS, 11/3). Golf Channel’s Notah Begay III said of Els' complaint, "He has been a big advocate for the European Tour. I think he understands what it requires to represent the game and the tours that he plays on." Begay said it is a "bit unfair” because Els "qualified by virtue of points" and his argument is that golfers “should be looked at as independent contractors.” Begay said Els "does have a little bit of a leg to stand on in this particular case." Begay added if Els understands the "protocols that are required, it might affect things a little bit" ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 11/4).