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Tour News (posted 28th October 1998)

Ballesteros banking on Euro Tour U-turn

Mark Garrod, PA Sport Golf Correspondent

Jerez, Spain - Seve Ballesteros will discover tomorrow whether there is any chance of changing what he calls "the most ridiculous decision
the European tour has ever made."

Ballesteros is furious that the 3million World Golf Championship events next season will count for the European Order of Merit
even though as few as 10 Europeans could be playing in the first of them in California in February.

A players' meeting takes place on the eve of the Volvo Masters in Spain and Ballesteros reckons that 90% of tour members are against the decision. "It must not happen it will not happen," he said.

Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke, the two players who could topple Colin Montgomerie as number one this weekend, support the move, however.

Westwood said: "I'm pleased because I'm in them. I would suggest there are 12 people delighted and the rest upset.
"Does the tour cater for the majority or for the people at the top of the tree? It's for them to decide.

Clarke added: "If these events are counting on other tours they have to count on ours. Everybody has the opportunity to improve to get into them.

"Unfortunately for some and fortunately for others some are going to be inside when the cut-off comes and some aren't.
"That's the future golf. World events can't be full of European players there has to be give and take."

The leading 64 in the world rankings qualify for the opening World Championship match play event, carrying a first prize of
over 600,000, and at present there are 12 Europeans in.The second is a stroke play event in Ohio in August and the only
Europeans in that will be the 12 who a month later represent Europe in the Ryder Cup in Boston. The third is also over 72 holes at Valderrama in Spain in November, with the leading players on each of the world tours qualifying.

1998 Press Association