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Jesper Parnevik quits European Tour

Jesper Parnevik has quit as a member of the European Tour after not gaining a place in next week's NEC World Championship.

The Swede, disappointed that the rules for the 3m event were changed so that only the top 12 in this season's Order of Merit qualified rather than last year's Ryder Cup team, announced his shock decision at the USPGA Championship.

Even if he had won the final Major of the season, the world number 10 would still not have played next week - the European Tour decided their cut-off point was last week's British Masters.

Parnevik explained: "Because I'm not playing next week, I won't complete the minimum 11 tournaments for membership.

"Rather than wait to be dropped from the Order of Merit like last year, I've taken the decision myself."

It means that when the year-long qualifying for next September's Ryder Cup begins in two weeks time, Parnevik will not be eligible for points snd could leave captain Sam Torrance having to pick the Swede as a wild card.

Parnevik - joint top points-scorer in Boston last September - was dropped from the 1999 Order of Merit because he did not play the final event and therefore fell short of the 11 stipulated in Tour rules.

Only then did it come to light that he was not playing because of a heart condition and at the Masters this year he agreed to rejoin.

Parnevik quit the European Tour as he won't reach the 11 tournament requirement in 2000. Allsport.

Of this latest decision to quit, Parnevik added: "They (the European Tour) probably realise now that they did the wrong thing."

"The obvious thing for the World Championships is to have all the world's top 50 playing.

"I would have got in next week if I had been South African, Japanese or even Chinese because I would have qualified for the International President's Cup off the world rankings.

Sergio Garcia, Paul Lawrie and Jean Van de Velde have also failed to qualify for next week after dividing their time between the American and European circuits.

Parnevik's decision comes shortly after Miguel Angel Jimenez decided to take up US Tour membership next year and after Jose Maria Olazabal said he might as well.

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