Ernie Els skipping European Tour finale in Dubai in protest of policy

Ernie Els
Getty Images
Ernie Els believes a new rule is forcing players to play more European Tour events than they would prefer.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: European Tour

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Ernie Els was among those irritated by the European Tour policy that forces its members to play in at least two of three ''Final Series'' events leading to the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

Els has decided not even to bother with Dubai.

''We used to play seven events and you could keep your card in Europe,'' he said. ''Now you have to play more than in America, which is the direction they're going in. I just think it's the wrong one. I've just got to reassess what's going to happen. In my view, it's an absolute joke. I've been a member of the tour for 20 years and they're making it impossible to keep playing.''

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Els could have skipped an appearance fee in Macau, though it still puts a burden on players to play a global schedule.

The European Tour already was stung by the mandatory starts when Joost Luiten hit one tee shot in the BMW Masters to give himself a chance to be eligible, though it kept Justin Walters out of the tournament.

Els said the European Tour didn't care when asked how it responded to his criticism.

That might not be true. The tour is said to be reviewing the policy for next year, especially in light of players with families in America and a worldwide schedule.