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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 February 2006, 11:28 GMT
Woods joins critics of WGC plan
Tiger Woods
Woods has won 10 individual World Golf Championship events
Tiger Woods has joined a growing list of top players to criticise the decision to stage all World Golf Championship tournaments in America.

The three individual WGC events, second only to the majors and the Players Championship, will take place solely in the USA for the foreseeable future.

The European Tour has voiced its dissatisfaction at the scheduling, along with Ernie Els and Mark O'Meara.

"Part of our responsibility is playing golf around the world," said Woods.

"It's a global sport now. That wasn't the case in the past, but now there are more players around the world playing better.

I think it's a bit crazy - why call it the World Golf Championships if it's played in one country all the time
Ernie Els

"Look at the world rankings, the players are from every part of the globe.

"I think that's indicative of how our game has changed and I think it's our responsibility to play around the world and to grow the game as much as we can."

Only the fourth WGC event, the team-format World Cup, will be excluded from the decision by the new sponsors - Computer Associates and Bridgestone - to stay in the USA for at least three years from 2007.

World number five Els, of South Africa, said: "I think it's a bit crazy. Why call it the World Golf Championships if it's played in one country all the time?

"I thought that world championship events were to promote the game of golf around the world.

"But I can understand from an American point of view that the money for these events are all from American companies and I'm sure those events want it on prime-time television."

I agree with Ernie. I think it should be moved around the globe
Mark O'Meara

American Mark O'Meara, the 1998 Masters and Open champion, was equally concerned with the scheduling.

"Maybe 20 or 25 years ago Americans tended to dominate the game, but that's not the case anymore," he said.

"We've seen that in the Ryder Cup, we've seen that in the Presidents Cup and we've seen that in the international flavour on the PGA Tour, where maybe a third is international players.

"I agree with Ernie. I think it should be moved around the globe."

The European Tour, already facing increasing pressure from America to retain its top stars, claimed it had offered to stage further WGC events but was turned down.

"We have already communicated our disappointment to the PGA Tour," said Keith Waters, the Tour's director of international policy.

European golf's battle has been made harder by the PGA Tour's decision to end its season with four big-money, elite-field events from 2007.

The 2006 WGC tournaments will take place in California, Ohio, England and Barbados.


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