• Golf

Schwartzel questions European Tour future

ESPN staff
November 7, 2013
Charl Schwartzel won The Masters in 2011 © PA Photos

Charl Schwartzel is contemplating his future on the European Tour due to the controversial new rules changes which affect the end of the season.

Schwartzel, Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia are the big names that will miss out on the upcoming World Tour Championship in Dubai as they are all ineligible to play.

New Tour rulings state a player must compete in two of the three preceding 'Final Series' events - the BMW Masters, HSBC Championship and the Turkish Airlines Open - in order to earn their place at the lucrative season-ending tournament at the Jumeirah Golf Estates.

The official ruling given on the European Tour official website reads: "Any European Tour Member hoping to qualify for the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai - and therefore the chance to play for The Race to Dubai Bonus Pool - will have to participate in two of the three tournaments preceding the season finalé" - a regulation that was brought in this year.

However, 2011 Masters champion Schwartzel has revealed his disappointment over the rule, admitting commitments to the World Cup and events in his native South Africa meant playing in China would have left his schedule much too tight.

"I think it does make you think about your future," Schwartzel told BBC Sport. "I'm really disappointed and feel sorry for the sponsors next week.

"I really want to play but I think there's been some bad decisions made and unfortunately I can't play. I'm not going to carry on about it but it really needs to be looked at.

"I've played my 13 [events], my three in Europe and supported my home tour. I feel as a South African it's important to support those events, especially co-sanctioned events.

"It will become too difficult to fulfil your commitments all over. I will have to sit back and think what will suit me as a player best.

"I've played in Europe for a very long time and enjoy it and I would love to keep playing. But with these sort of rules coming in, I will have to play some tournaments in South Africa and America only."

The change recently drew criticism from Luke Donald, who questioned the new ruling after playing partner Joost Luiten played his opening tee-shot at the BMW Masters before withdrawing from the event with injury - meaning he was still considered to have played in the event.

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