Tom Watson took issue with the PGA Tour Saturday over its refusal to allow Spaniard Seve Ballesteros to play as many tournaments as he wants in the United States.
"We're keeping out one of the premier golfers in the world," Watson said of the Tour rule that foreigners must play in at least 15 U.S. events or have their play in this country restricted to about half that many.Watson said that while he agrees the Tour needs rules, "an exception should be made for Seve because he has won five major championships."
Ballesteros won the British Open for the third time last summer and has won the Masters twice. Because of his unwillingness to commit to at least 15 regular Tour events each year, he's limited to five of those plus the major championships.
"If I were commissioner, I'd let him have a special sponsor's exemption every week," Watson said. "American players can play overseas whenever we wish, but we don't extend that same privilege to foreign players."
Watson, who has won eight major championships, including five British Opens, but no tournament since 1987, insists he still has the same desire to win at age 39 that he had when he was one of the world's top golfers.
"I still have the fire, yes I do," he said. "I still want to play like I did 10 years ago. But my priorities are a bit different now because my family comes first, then my businesses and then golf."