Player Reaction Helps Lead To Change In Fisher’s Race To Dubai Status

It is understood a number of players complained to the European Tour regarding the scenario of England’s Ross Fisher first entering the Turkish Airlines Open on an invitation but then taking is place as a ‘normal’ entrant despite arriving in Belek ranked 105th on the Race to Dubai.

This came about through the very late withdrawal of two players and with Fisher, as the next available highest-ranked Race to Dubai player on hand in Turkey, being informed he would not require an invitation as he had become eligible to play.

Though it is a little more complicated than this.

Now Fisher finds himself sharing second place on 15-under par and with a round to play, and projected to jump to 52nd on the Race to Dubai and not only to be unexpectedly heading to Sun City on Sunday night but the Englishman could easily qualify for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

Ross Fisher after signing for a third round 68 at the Turkish Airlines Open (Photo – @tourmiss)

Though we must stress, this is not Fisher’s doing and it was firstly a decision of the Tour and with the decision leading to criticism by those competing in Turkey.
And following player reaction here in Turkey, the Tour sent out an email statement to all European Tour members.
STATEMENT ON ROSS FISHER SITUATION

A European Tour spokesperson said: “The unusual situation on Thursday at the Turkish Airlines Open where there were two withdrawals after the first round had teed off and limited reserves on site means that Ross Fisher’s Race to Dubai points this week will now count on the Race to Dubai.”

Explanation of the circumstances:

  • Ross Fisher is playing in the event as an invitation. The regulation for this event states that any invitation whose Race to Dubai ranking is above that of the 1st reserve will be eligible for Race to Dubai Points.
  • When Mikko Korhonen and Andy Sullivan withdrew after the first round teed off, both Adrien Otaegui (Rank 86) and Renato Paratore (Rank 94) got into the tournament.
  • The next entered and available reserve was Robert Rock (Rank 107).
  • Ross Fisher was ranked above him at 105 on the Race to Dubai, hence under the Regulation his points count.

Further clarification:

  • That the regulation is written to ensure that an invited member is not stopped from having his points count, if he is the next ranked and available player on the Race to Dubai Rankings. Once Renato Paratore (94th) got into the tournament, Ross Fisher (105th) became that player.
  • In order to mitigate any possible negative effects of the application of the regulations on our other members in this instance, it has been decided that Ross will be treated as “in addition” for the exemption cut off for The Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai (i.e. these fields would be extended by one spot).

Fisher was asked his views on the issue following his third round of a four-under par 68.

“To be honest I’m trying not to think about it. I’m trying to treat it as if I’m still here as an invite and this is my last one and as soon as I start thinking about where I need to finish to get into next week, the mind starts to wander,” he said.

“It’s great for me that my points do count and I’m going to finish higher at the end of the season and there’s a sniff of getting into next week. I love the Nedbank and if that were the case great and it’s another opportunity to get into Dubai.

“I’ve heard there has been player reaction and I am concered a little bit but the Tour have sent an email out and explained the scenario. All the guys who finished ahead of me I’m guessing were asked if they were going to travel and no-one wanted to and it wouldn’t make sense.

“I’m in the fortunate position that I managed to get an invitation here which I’m thrilled and grateful to get and then for the points to now count I’m obviously delighted.

“I think it might have even happened last year and thankfully the rules have turned in my favour. Excited about the prospect.”



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