SOTOGRANDE, Spain (AP) – Jean Van de Velde, who blew the British Open six years ago on the final hole, will attempt to enter next year’s women’s British Open.

“I’ll even wear a kilt and shave my legs,” he said Thursday after shooting a 7-over-par 78 in the first round of the Volvo Masters.

Van de Velde became infamous in the 1999 British Open when he led by three strokes going to the 72nd hole, then wound up losing the tournament in a playoff.

The 39-year-old Frenchman is upset with a recent policy set by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club to allow women to qualify for next year’s British Open.

“My whole point is where do we draw the line?” Van de Velde asked, and called the rule change a farce.

“If we accept that women can enter our tournaments, then it applies that men can play with women,” he said.

The Frenchman said he would get an application and attempt to qualify.

Next year’s women’s British Open is set for Aug. 3-6 at Royal Lytham. The event is run by the Ladies’ Golf Union, which established a gender policy this year.

The policy says: “It shall be a condition of any competition organized by the Ladies’ Golf Union that players must be of the female gender.”

Andy Salmon, chief executive officer of the LGU, said Thursday there was no plan to change the rule.

The LGU established a formal gender policy this season, which allowed competition from players who had sex-change operations to become females. The best known example was Danish-born Australian Mianne Bagger, who played some LGU events in 2005.

Van de Velde hinted at legal action if he were not allowed to play.

“I just don’t understand it, and if my application is not accepted I will definitely get advice and see how far it will go,” he said. “I am making a point. I’m not trying to take a sexist stance.

“I think there are much more important matters. I think our governing body should concentrate on the long putter, checking clubs. Things like that, not this.”

Former Ryder Cup player Barry Lane suggested a change in the rules could end women’s golf.

“Do they want 100 men trying to qualify?” he asked. “If they do there won’t be any spots left for them (women).”

AP-ES-10-27-05 1237EDT

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.