Ernie Els not happy with European Tour's increased playing requirements

Ernie Els
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Ernie Els, not happy with a new playing requirement by the European Tour, will skip the season-ending tournament in Dubai.
By T.J. Auclair, Senior Interactive Producer
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, November 04, 2013 | 1:36 p.m.

South Africa's Ernie Els, a four-time major champion and former world No. 1, is so incensed by the European Tour's increased playing requirements that he's decided to skip next week's flagship season-ending event in Dubai.

In a report by Reuters, Els expresses his discontent with the European Tour's new regulation that its members must play two of the three events leading into Dubai to be eligible for the $8 million season finale.

From the report:

"I don't think they really care," Els said wearily when asked how the tour had reacted to the news that their most celebrated veteran member would not play in Dubai.

"Why would they make a decision like that and expect guys to play? It's farcical. In my view it's an absolute joke."

Els, who is also a member of the U.S. PGA Tour, said he understood why the European Tour wanted to coax its top players into contesting more of the big-money Asian tournaments.

"I can see (the tour's point of view) but it's crazy," he said. "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.

For nearly two decades, Els was the non-European face of the European Tour, where he's collected 28 victories.

The new two-out-of-three rule, Els said, may force him to pick between the PGA Tour or the European Tour instead of playing both as he's done for years.

"Now we have to make a decision where we never used to do that," he said. "Guys are not going to keep doing that. We've got families and schedules to keep."

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T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.