May 31, 2020 / 8:55 PM / a month ago

Golf: Singh pulls out of developmental tour event after criticism

(Reuters) - Former world number one Vijay Singh, who drew criticism for signing up for a tournament on the developmental Korn Ferry Tour (KFT), has since decided not to play the event, the PGA Tour said on Sunday.

The decision by the 57-year-old Fijian, who counts three majors among his 34 titles on the PGA Tour, comes around a month after he signed up for the June 11-14 KFT Challenge at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

A spokesman for the PGA Tour, who confirmed to Reuters the story first reported by Golf Channel, said they had no further comment on Singh’s decision at this time.

Singh, a World Golf Hall of Fame member who plays on the over-50 circuit, is a lifetime PGA Tour member and can enter any KFT tournament being played in a week in which he is not eligible for the main tour’s event.

The KFT’s event is being played the same week the PGA Tour, which like the lower circuit has been dormant since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, returns to action at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

The initial decision by Singh, who has earned over $71 million on the PGA Tour, to sign up for the KFT event, proved a divisive one.

Brady Schnell, a journeyman on the KFT, called Singh “selfish” for taking the spot of another player who needs the money and points in a since-deleted tweet.

Others, including five-time major winner Phil Mickelson, defended the Fijian and said Singh is a big part of the success of the PGA Tour, which financially subsidizes the KFT, and has earned the right to play when and where he wants.

Schnell has since apologised for his comments.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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