Schwartzel wants to remain on tour
8:04am Thursday 9th January 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel insists he does want to remain a European Tour player, but stopped short of guaranteeing he will not quit over the row on playing regulations.
Schwartzel admitted he was considering his future as a Tour member after being ineligible for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in November due to not playing at least two of the preceding three events in the inaugural Final Series.
His absence from Dubai - along with fellow South African Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia - prompted the Tour to promise to review the regulations and tournament committee chairman Thomas Bjorn is confident the issue will be resolved successfully.
"I wanted to play in Dubai, I just played too many tournaments running up to it and I feel like I'm at the stage of my career where I don't play unless I feel like I'm ready to play," Schwartzel said ahead of his first round in the Volvo Golf Champions on Thursday. "I don't like to pitch up to a golf tournament just to be there. I want to feel like I can actually win it and compete that week.
"It's Catch-22 at the end of the day. I totally see what the European Tour tries to do, especially for the sponsors, to try to tell them that all the guys will play.
"But it's unfortunate that most of the top European Tour players also play in America and pretty much for the same amount of money week in, week out as you do towards the end of the season in Europe.
"Once you start pushing guys to do something the obvious answer is to back off and say 'I'm not going to commit to something I don't really want to right now.'
"If you give a guy a bit more freedom, more than likely more of them will pitch up. That's my view of it but I understand it's very difficult to tie up the sponsors if they are not sure who's going to be there.
"I don't want to talk myself into a corner but I've always believed in supporting the tour where you started. The South African tour is where I started so I always try to come back, even though we do overplay ourselves by doing so.
"The second tour I went to was the European Tour and it's been really good to me. If it wasn't for that, I probably wouldn't be on the PGA Tour so I will always try to support the European Tour as long as they don't make too many rules that bind us to things because of the already heavy schedule."