Bjorn steps down as player chairman

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The European Tour players committee could not persuade Thomas Bjorn to stay on as chairman on Thursday night.

Thomas Bjorn could not be persuaded at a meeting on Thursday night to stay on as chairman of the European Tour players committee.
The Ryder Cup player, who criticised Padraig Harrington last week over a plan to tighten up Tour rules, feels the job has taken a toll on him of late and handed in his resignation.
“The committee tried to change his mind and urged him to stay because he has been such a good chairman,” said Tour chief executive George O’Grady.
“Thomas feel it has become too onerous for a player and recommended a different structure where the chief executive runs the meeting and one member acts as chairman each time.
“He will remain in situ until the constitution can be changed at next July’s annual meeting.”
The other big item discussed was the proposal to force players to play a certain number of events in Europe.
Harrington, not a committee member, is opposed to that and after being invited to speak at the meeting he appeared to have won a relaxation in the demand.
Instead there is likely to be a points system which encourages rather than demands players to appear more in “home” events.
The details have still to be worked out, but it could mean that players have to reach a minimum points figure during the season to retain membership, but could still do that without committing to certain heavily-weighted tournaments.
“We had a broad consensus of the way forward without being clear of the precise details,” stated O’Grady.
“Padraig was very useful to the committee and his views were certainly taken into account. Winning three majors gives you a right to be heard.”

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