PGA Tour moves closer to requiring its players to play certain events

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PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem believes a rule to require players to play different events ultimately will be adopted.
By
Associated Press

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Published: Tuesday, August 03, 2010 | 9:26 p.m.

A proposal that would require PGA Tour members to compete in certain tournaments passed its first test and is on track to be adopted before the end of the Fall Series.

In an effort to bolster tournaments that typically get weak fields, the concept is to designate a small number of events and demand players choose one to play. The policy board approved the idea at a meeting last week in West Virginia, which was the first step.

"Because it's a tournament regulation, it has to be passed twice," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said. "It was preliminarily approved in concept. Now we go back to the PAC (Players Advisory Council) and work through the details, get some player input and bring it back to the fall meeting."

Finchem said he was "positively inclined" that it ultimately would be adopted.

What remains are the details, starting with how many tournaments would be designated and which players would be required to play. The Tour could use the FedExCup standings, money list or even the world ranking from a previous year to determine who it affects.

It would be the closest thing the Tour has had to mandatory participation, although it falls short of the "1-in-4" concept of the LPGA Tour in which players must compete in every tournament at least once over a four-year span.

Finchem has said he would want the policy adopted by around September, which would give the Tour the rest of the year to explain and educate players on the plan.

Another proposal that appears to have stalled -- at least for now -- is expanding the field at the season-opening SBS Championship at Kapalua, traditionally reserved only for winners from the previous season. The PAC has discussed giving a two-year exemption to Kapalua for PGA Tour winners.

Finchem supports the idea, but the Tour is looking for another title sponsor (although SBS is under contract through 2019). The commissioner said he wants to see if another sponsor emerges before making changes, to be sure a new sponsor agrees with the change.