European Tour amends plans

Padraig Harrington looked a happy man as he left a European Tour players committee meeting on Thursday night – and it soon became clear why.

The Tour will not, after all, be introducing a rule that would have forced players to appear in more events in Europe, something which Harrington felt was the wrong way to go.

But change is still in the pipeline. Instead a points system is going to be brought in for Tour membership and the “core” tournaments will be given extra weight.

The exact details have yet to be worked out, but the PGA Championship, Irish Open, French Open, Scottish Open and Portugal Masters could well have stronger fields as a result because they carry more points.

The meeting also saw the resignation of Thomas Bjorn as chairman because of the pressure of the job.

There was an attempt to make him reconsider, but all Bjorn agreed to was to remain in situ until the constitution is changed at next July’s annual meeting.

He feels it is now too much to ask a player to serve as chairman. The new plan is for chief executive George O’Grady to run meetings and invite different committee members to chair things each time.

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