GolfCentralDaily is more often than not a fun and satirical site but every so often we handle more serious issues on behalf or Tour players and caddies that other sites wouldn't touch.  This is one such issue.

Yesterday, the Andulucia Masters was the last regular season event on the European Tour.  Thus there were a lot of anxious and stressed players desperately trying to make the Top 100 on the Race To Dubai money list to retain their playing rights for next year.

European Tour's Access List Has Been A Disaster.

Much confusion has surrounded the European Tour's "Access List" this year and how it would work with the bigger money Rolex Series tournaments etc.

For those of you not aware, the Access List  is like a mini money list for players who didn't get into or earn money in the bigger, more lucrative events like the Rolex Series. The Tour thought it would be a great idea, since these big events had a much greater prize fund.

The official definition of the Access List is

The Access List runs concurrently with the Race to Dubai but excludes money earned at the most lucrative tournaments of the European Tour season that also have restricted entry criteria. (i.e. Rolex Series events, the Masters, US PGA Championship and the four World Golf Championships).

The Top ten* players on the Final Access List this season (not otherwise exempt in a higher Category of Membership) will earn European Tour Membership next season.  

So all year there has been confusion on Tour.  What if, say a player gets into for example The Irish Open field (which is a Rolex Series event) has a great week and earns some money but at the end of the season ultimately loses his card, while a player on the Access List, who has also played in the Rolex Series events, retains his card even though he earns much less money?

And that is exactly what has happened.

Ashun Wu got the final 2018 European Tour card through the Access List with earnings of €246,485.56 despite there being 15 players who earned more money than him.

So effectively it was those 15 players "fault" to have earned their money by playing well in bigger events.

Let me put this into even more context.  Bradley Dredge and Ashun Wu both played in the Irish Open, a Rolex Series event.  Dredge finished 13th earning € 98,470 while Wu missed the cut.  But Dredge's earnings don't count towards the Access List rankings.

So yesterday, at the end of the season, Dredge's 2017 earnings total is €375,209 while Ashun Wu's is €246,485.  Dredge finishes 105th on the R2D money list and loses his card, while Wu finishes 130th on the list but gains his. Via the "Access List".  Dredge has earned €128,724 more than Wu, and even though both competed in Rolex Series events, it's Wu who gets his card.

It is of course no fault of Ashun Wu but rather a major fuck up by the European Tour. And maybe yes, we are dealing with guys who are earning a lot of money here, but behind these players are caddies, teams, families who rely on that person for a living.

The Tour knew this Access List was going to be a disaster and have abandoned it from next season onwards.

There I've said it!

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