Golf: Woosnam keeping an eye on the overheads: Former Masters champion resigns from PGA while Montgomerie defends Dutch title

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The Independent Online
IAN WOOSNAM's decision to resign from the Professional Golfers' Association appears to be a classic case of scrupulous housekeeping by his management company, IMG. Woosnam, who has been a member of the West region of the PGA since 1977, will save himself pounds 160 a year.

'It's not a lot of money but what's the point of paying for something you don't use,' Andrew Hampel, who looks after Woosnam's affairs at IMG, said yesterday. 'There's nothing political in it. He simply doesn't play in regional PGA tournaments. He's still a member of the European Tour and this has no effect on his professional career.' Woosnam's action has nothing to do with his present poor form. His letter of resignation was sent in January.

Other IMG clients, like Nick Faldo and Sandy Lyle, have honorary membership of the PGA, conferred after winning the Open Championship, something Woosnam has never done. Sandy Jones, executive director of the PGA, said: 'I don't think this a protest by Ian Woosnam in any way. He has never intimated anything to us and there is no reason for any fall out.'

The most important aspect of membership to Woosnam, and to golf in Wales, is that he could play in the Welsh Professional Championship. This year it clashes with the US PGA Championship. 'He has been a good supporter in the past,' Jones said, 'and has been very patriotic to Wales even though he now lives in Jersey. If he wants to take up membership again after this year he can do so.'

Colin Montgomerie, eighth in the Open at Turnberry on Sunday, starts the defence of his Dutch Open title at Hilversum today. As well as Ian Woosnam, South Africa's Ernie Els, the US Open champion, is among Montgomerie's rivals, as is the Masters champion, Jose Maria Olazabal, and Seve Ballesteros, who won the first of his two Dutch titles at Hilversum in 1980.

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