Ballesteros pleads Lyle's case to stay on tour circuit
Thursday 23 October 2003
Seve Ballesteros has called for a change in the European tour rule which could see Sandy Lyle lose his exempt status after 25 years.
Lyle needs at least a top-nine finish in the Madrid Open, which begins today, to have any chance of keeping his place as one of the circuit's top 40 career money-winners. Ballesteros believes it is wrong that someone who lifted the Open and US Masters, topped the Order of Merit three times and won 25 tournaments between 1979 and 1992 should find themselves in such a position.
"I think that's bad," he said. "Sandy is still a great champion and brings people to the course. I think they should take that into consideration and change the rule."
Lyle has earned nearly £3m in his European career, but 25 players have picked up £500,000 this season. He won less than £40,000 the first time he led the Order of Merit in 1979. His plight this week was not helped by his clubs arriving a day after he did.
Without his exempt status he would need to rely on sponsors' invitations or those events where he is a past champion.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food