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Els rips European Tour over playing requirement

Ernie Els
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CASARES, SPAIN - MAY 19: Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain celebrates his victory in he group stages of the Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesin on May 19, 2011 in Casares, Spain. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)  - 

Ernie Els is so disgusted by the European Tour's increased playing requirements that he is willing to pass up a chance at $8 million to protest them.

According to a Reuters report, Els objects to the tour's new regulation that its members must play two of the three events leading into Dubai to be eligible for next week's $8 million season finale.

Els called the requirement 'farcical' and 'an absolute joke.'

Els, who is a member of both the U.S. and European tours, said he understood why the European Tour wants its top players to play 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.

'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.'