Ballesteros makes his point on PGA plans

 

Seve Ballesteros, never one to hide his opinions, is at loggerheads with the PGA European Tour over the World Championship (WGC) events which will begin next year.

Ballesteros is angry that prize money won in these special tournaments, which will each have more than £3 million on offer, will be included in the Volvo Order of Merit and will also count towards European Ryder Cup ranking points in future.

"This is the most ridiculous decision the European Tour have ever made," said Ballesteros yesterday. "It's not fair because there is so much money to be won and only a few European players will be there.

"A player could win one of these tournaments and win the Order of Merit and that has to be wrong. Ninety per cent of the European players are against it. We must call a players' meeting at the Volvo Masters to talk about it. Something has got to change. It must not happen. It will not happen."

The fields for these World Golf Championship tournaments will be selected from the official world ranking list and other various criteria which will mean that only a few European players will compete.

The first WGC tournament will be the Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship at Carlsbad, California, from February 24th to 28th, and will be the only one to affect Ryder Cup points next year.

This is because the next two, the NEC Invitational at Akron, Ohio, from August 26th to 29th, and the American Express Stroke Play Championship at Valderrama, Spain, from October 28th to 31st, are after the Ryder Cup table for 1999 ends.

All three World Golf Championship events will be officially included on the European Tour schedule and a fourth, the World Cup Team Championship, will be included in the year 2000.