European Tour

Els backs McIlroy after European Tour criticism

Ernie Els (Getty Images)
Ernie Els (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Four-time major champion Ernie Els has agreed with Rory McIlroy after the Northern Irishman said he was sick of not being challenged on the European Tour.

Following the conclusion of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday, McIlroy lashed out at the European Tour after finishing T26 at 15-under par.

The world No 2 was quoted by Sky Sports saying: "I'm honestly sick of coming back over to the European Tour, shooting 15-under par and finishing 30th".

'The Big Easy' took to social media to concur with McIlroy, admitting that European Tour flagship tournaments need to make their courses 'major tough'.

"Agree 100 percent with @McIlroyRory," wrote Els.

"When we @ErnieElsDesign toughened up West Course, 6-under won @BMWPGA. Had so much blow-back from players, we had to ease up & now 20-under wins. @EuropeanTour flagship tournament & other top events need courses 'major' tough. Test the best!"

On Monday, McIlroy took to his Instagram account to clarify his comments and insisted that he would like to see tougher set-ups in Europe.

"I understand voicing my concerns about golf course set ups in Europe to the media, at a pro am event on benign links courses wasn't the right place to do it, or, the right people to talk to about it.

"I was venting yesterday but I can assure you it came from the right place.

"Strategy, course management and shot making are important aspects of tournament golf that are being slowly taken out of the game at the top level, not just in Europe but worldwide. I would personally like to see tougher set ups in Europe because it will produce better, more complete young players in the future and that can only be a good thing for the game and our Ryder Cup chances going forward."

The European Tour is in Madrid, Spain for the Open de Espana this week.

Compiled by Lynn Butler

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