Els Irritated at PGA Tours Requirement

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 13, 2004, 4:00 pm
Ernie Els is busy writing a letter to the PGA Tour. But the letter wont tell the tour what a wonderful season he has had in America. Rather, it is in response to correspondence he received from the tour telling him he will have to change his international schedule in the future if he wants to keep his PGA Tour membership card.
 
Els answered reporters queries Wednesday at the HSBC World Match Play Championship in England. He obviously is quite perturbed about the American situation ' the PGA Tour wants him to request a release for each event he plays on a separate tour. And then, according to the PGA Tour, he must play one event on the PGA Tour for each event on a rival tour.
 
Listen, I want to play in the U.S., said Els. As far as I'm concerned, I play enough tournaments in the U.S. For anybody to start asking me questions to play more golf tournaments in the U.S., I think I play enough over there.
 
I feel if you play 15 -- I play more than 15 over there. I live in the U.K., my children go -- Samantha goes to school here. Sounds like I'm living over there. Don't start putting a padlock around me, because that's not going to work.
 
Els is obligated to play 15 tournaments as a base requirement for the PGA Tour. He plans to play 17. But he also will have played nine other tournaments on the European Tour this year after this week. Unfortunately, the South African native doesnt count the European Tour as his home tour ' he counts the South African Tour. If he counted the European Tour, he could have unlimited appearances there.
 
I think they (the PGA Tour) need to understand that the golfing world has changed through the years, he said. There's a world outside of America, and I'm part of it. They can't restrict me from playing where I want to play.
 
Els said the PGA Tour wants 20 (appearances) and nothing abroad.
 
He will sit down and talk with tour representatives, he said, when he returns to the States to play in Tampa, Fla., in two weeks.
 
At the moment it is kind of letters flying around. But first I'd like to sit down and talk about it and find a way, because I am definitely not hurting their tour at all with my schedule,' he said.
 
I'm not hurting any other players on their tour, because none of them will do what I'm doing. So I'm not hurting anybody. I'm just helping, you know, the European Tour, I'm helping their tour. I'm playing all over the world.
 
Els has always been an international player, appearing in all corners of the globe. And he says he doesnt intend to change now.
 
No, why should I? he said. I've been doing this all my life. You can't start telling me, Hey, come over here and leave the rest of the world. It's not going to happen that way.
 
The issue came to a head this year, Els says, because I played one less this year (in America) than I played maybe the last two years ' so thats a big issue.
 
Els mentioned the situation of fellow South African Reteif Goosen, who has chosen the European Tour to be his home tour. Goosen, a PGA Tour member, may travel freely to the European Tour for appearances. Els also mentioned Australian Adam Scott, who likewise has chosen the European Tour as his home tour and has no limit on appearances there.
 
It's been on my mind all year, said Els.
 
But we'll talk to them when we get there. As I say I'm preparing a letter to send back to them, and after this letter we'll sit down and talk because they sent quite a strong letter to me.
 
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    Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

    The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


    Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm
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    Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

    Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

    Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

    Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

    The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.

    Rules changes include no more viewer call-ins

    By Rex HoggardDecember 11, 2017, 12:00 pm

    Although the Rules of Golf modernization is still a year away, officials continue to refine parts of the rulebook including an overhaul of the video review protocols.

    A “working group” led by the USGA and R&A announced on Monday the new protocols, which include assigning a rule official to a tournament broadcast to resolve rules issues.

    The group – which includes the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA tour and PGA of America – also voted to stop considering viewer call-ins when processing potential rule violations.

    In addition, a new local rule was announced that will discontinue the penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard when the player was unaware of the violation.

    In April, Lexi Thompson was penalized four strokes during the final round when officials at the ANA Inspiration learned via e-mail from a viewer of an infraction that occurred during the third round. Thompson was penalized two strokes for incorrectly marking her golf ball and two for signing an incorrect scorecard.

    “The message is, as a fan, enjoy watching the game and the best players in the world, but also have the confidence that the committee in charge of the competition have the rules handled,” Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of the Rules of Golf, said on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" on Monday. “Let’s leave the rules and the administration of the event to the players and to those responsible for running the tournament.”

    The working group was created in April to review the use of video in applying the rules and the role of viewer call-ins, and initially issued a decision to limit the use of video through the introduction of the “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standard.

    According to that decision, which was not a rule, “so long as the player does what can reasonably be expected under the circumstances to make an accurate determination, the player’s reasonable judgment will be accepted, even if later shown to be inaccurate by the use of video evidence.”

    The new protocols will be implemented starting on Jan. 1.

    A comprehensive overhaul of the Rules of Golf is currently underway by the USGA and R&A that will begin on Jan. 1, 2019.