Luke Donald questions rule change after Joost Luiten quits after one shot
Last Updated: October 25, 2013 10:09am
Luke Donald: Dubai rule needs rethinking
Luke Donald says the European Tour's new rules are wrong after his partner played just one shot on the opening day of the BMW Masters on Thursday
Joost Luiten pulled out of the tournament after his first shot because of a shoulder injury.
He had decided not to withdraw beforehand due to new rules on the number of tournaments players need to have participated in to qualify for the DP World Championship in Dubai in November.
Donald wrote on Twitter: "New Euro Tour rule this year states that you have to play at least 2 out 3 events before Race to Dubai (World Championship in Dubai) to be eligible...
"If that rule wasn't in effect then Joost would have withdrawn prior to event and 1st reserve would have got to play this week's event. Can't blame Joost - new rule forced his hand."
Only the top 60 players in Europe who have also played two out of the three preceding events will be eligible.
Luiten is currently 11th in the Race to Dubai standings and so is a certainty to play in Dubai - so long as he takes part in two events.
His one shot on Thursday meant he could tick off the BMW Masters as one of them but had he withdrawn before the start it would not have counted.
Should he still want to nurse his injured shoulder in Turkey in a fortnight's time there is the possibility he could turn up in Antalya and hit one shot again - and still play in Dubai.
The unlucky reserve this time was South Africa's Justin Walters who just missed out on automatically qualifying for the 78-man field, but travelled to Shanghai in case someone withdrew from the $7m event.
Luiten hit his tee shot "120 yards, straight down the middle" according to Donald, before shaking hands with his playing partners and disappearing to pack his bags.
The new rules are to ensure quality fields at the first three of the Race to Dubai's "Final Series" of events - two in Shanghai and one in Turkey - and not just for the season-ending $8 million DP World Tour Championship which also offers a $3.75m bonus pool for the top 10 in the Race To Dubai standings.
The European Tour said in a statement that players "must have participated in... at least two of the preceding three tournaments in the Final Series".