Harrington Hits out at Tighter Tour Rules

Article excerpt

Byline: GRAHAM OTWAY

PADRAIG Harrington is on a collision course with the European Tour over proposals to tighten up its membership rules for next year.

The Irish triple Major winner is angry at plans that could force him to play more tournaments in Europe in 2010.

He even hinted he would legally test the new regulations under the European Union's freedom of trade and employment laws.

Harrington spoke out after the tour's all-powerful players' committee met in St Andrews last week to debate the qualifications for next year's Race to Dubai.

Committeemen were furious that US tour stars such as Anthony Kim, Camilo Villegas and Geoff Ogilvy could qualify for this year's record 7.5million-dollar bonus pool in the desert without having played a tournament in Europe.

When the committee meets again in Portugal in two weeks' time they will consider nominating six bigmoney "core" events in Europe in 2010 and insist that players appear in at least four of them to qualify for the Race to Dubai.

But Harrington, who plays most of his golf on the US Tour, has vowed to fight the changes. …