Controversy over Couples

Controversy over Couples

Fred Couples, the American Ryder Cup player, has indicated that he would like to play in the Volvo Masters, the last official tournament of the European PGA Tour, at Valderrama, Spain, from 26 to 29 October. But according to the rule book, he is not eligible to compete. Only the top 50 in the Volvo Order of Merit plus four other players from Category One (which does not include Couples) or from 51 to 54 in the Order, are eligible to play. This should bar Couples, who is no longer included in the European money list, but he does have special qualifications: he won the first two European tournaments of the year, the Dubai Desert Classic and the Johnnie Walker Classic in Manila, and collected pounds 175,000 in prize money from the two events. This left him at the top of the Order of Merit which was embarrassing to the European Tour and after several weeks he, along with other overseas players including Greg Norman and Nick Price, were removed from the list. But had Couples been retained on the list he would have been in the top 15 and thus eligible for Valderrama. Now Couples must wait to see if a special place is given to him.Couples: Ineligible

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