Mixed reaction to shorts ruling as European Tour tees off

MALELANE, South Africa: Many golfers opted to play in trousers Thursday despite being allowed to wear shorts because of intense heat when the 2020 European Tour season teed off in South Africa.With temperatures set to reach 40 degrees celsius (104 fahrenheit) during the Alfred Dunhill Championship, the organisers said shorts could be worn for the first time at an EPGA event. While golfers wear shorts during practice rounds and at pre-tournament pro-ams, they were not permitted during competitions until the searing heat brought a change of heart this week.Among those who donned shorts for the first round of the Dunhill at Leopard Creek Country Club beside the Kruger National Park wildlife reserve was four-time major winner Ernie Els.“It is the right thing to do and a victory for common sense,” said the 50-year-old South Africa, ranked 424 in the world and in the twilight of his illustrious career. “Wearing shorts in extreme heat has been talked about for so long on all of the tours around the world.Dane Thomas Bjorn was another competitor to wear shorts at the stunningly picturesque course in northeastern South Africa. “Golf has been moving in this direction and because of the extreme heat we need to make it as comfortable for the players as we can.”Daniel Greene was first to tee off Thursday and opted for trousers, unlike most of his South African compatriots. Another who preferred trousers was Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, who shared the early clubhouse lead on 66 with Garrick Porteous of England and Will Besseling from the Netherlands.

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