Big new autumn event gives elite players another chance to chase cash

Lee Westwood
Getty Images
Lee Westwood is said to be one of the players included in the inaugural big-money Turkish Airways World Golf Finals in October.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: Other Tour

Published: Tuesday, July 03, 2012 | 7:00 p.m.

BETHESDA, Md. -- Back when the PGA Tour season ended the first week of the November at the Tour Championship, there was growing support for a shorter season. Turns out that shorter season is not to take a break from golf, but to chase more money.

There was the Kiwi Challenge that Hunter Mahan won in 2008. The Shanghai Masters was created last year. Tiger Woods went to Australia in 2009 and 2010, though he has a history of international travel from when he was a rookie. Phil Mickelson has a burgeoning golf course design business in Asia, and he is a two-time winner of the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

According to two British newspapers, the latest edition is the Turkish Airways World Golf Finals in October, with a $5.3 million pursue and the best players in the world. The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph report the field is to include Woods, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson and Mahan.

The winner would receive $1.5 million, with $1 million going to the runner-up.

The tournament is to be played Oct. 9-12, ending on a Friday so that it won't steal attention away from the weekend of the Portugal Masters on the European Tour and the Frys.com Open on the PGA Tour, the second event in the Fall Series.

One newspaper said Woods is working toward a deal with the Turkish airline.

None of the PGA Tour players involved were likely to be at the Frys.com Open, or in Las Vegas the week before. Woods made his Fall Series debut at the Frys.com Open last year, though he was still in conversation about a corporate deal at the time. Simpson lost in a playoff last year at the McGladrey Classic, which follows the Turkey event, though he was trying to the money title.

For the PGA Tour, the shorter regular season was created by the FedExCup, which offers $35 million in prize money. And the structure allowed it to then have a wraparound season starting in 2013, with the Fall Series being treated the same as regular PGA Tour events.

One thing hasn't changed. About the only break from golf is the week of Christmas.