Call players’ bluff, insists Monty

Ernie Els - opposes new regulations

Colin Montgomerie wants the European Tour to “hold firm” over its Finals Series regulations following player threats they will be forced to quit the tour unless something changes.

Former British Open champion Ernie Els is one of the top players annoyed at a regulation which requires players to compete in two of the first three Final Series events to be eligible for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

The South African will not fulfil that criteria and therefore will not be in Dubai next week, where European Tour chief executive George O’Grady is due to reveal how the schedule “evolves and moves forward”.

Eight-time European number one Montgomerie believes the Tour should not yield to any demands, and called for it to “call the bluff” of players.

“You can understand the European Tour’s point of view – it’s difficult to find sponsors,” Montgomerie said.

“The players are saying they are being dictated to and being told where to play, but you shouldn’t have to be told to play for $7m (US) should you?

“They are professional golfers, that’s their job. I think the Tour should hold firm.”

Montgomerie believes players should be prohibited from appearing in the Ryder Cup if they do not play on the European Tour. Montgomerie captained Europe to victory in the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, although such a rule would not affect aggrieved players such as South Africans Els and Charl Schwartzel.

“They won’t bin their cards because then they couldn’t play in the Ryder Cup. Call their bluff – the Tour have a bit of power here,” said Montgomerie, who has little sympathy for claims from some players their schedule is already too busy.

“People are saying they can’t play four events in a row. For goodness sake, I played 13 in a row when I was at my peak,” he said.

“Four in a row is not a lot, especially the way they are treated nowadays. They are like royalty with their private planes and suites. It’s hardly a hassle is it?”


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