Should Phil play all the PGA Tour events?
Should The Tour Force Players To Play?
By Kickntrue on 7/1/10
The PGA Tour is tossing around the idea of forcing pros to play in every event on Tour one time every couple of years. The PGA Tour denies it, but let's be honest, this is really just about getting Tiger and Phil to play the "scrub" events on rotation, right?
"Everybody seems to refer to this as a Tiger and Phil issue; it's really not," said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, who intimated that details of the plan wouldn't be ironed out for a few months. "It's really about having a representative number of top players week in and week out."

That's some solid commish-speak, but the simple fact is, not many other guys can move the needle. Let's face it: Nobody is buying tickets to watch Scott Verplank. No one is clamoring for more Tim Clark. No offense to either player -- each of whom is ranked in the top 50 on both the OWGR and the FedEx points list -- but if this rule is being built to showcase the big names at more venues, it might as well be referred to as the Tiger-Phil Formula.
The LPGA Tour has this rule in place and it works, but I'm not sure it can fly with the men. Last time I checked, the players on Tour are independent contractors which means they can do whatever the heck they want, right? Well, maybe. It is also the right of a hiring agency to use or not use any independent contractor as they see fit, so it's certainly within the PGA Tour's right to enact a rule like this. The players also get additional benefits that you're every day 1099'er isn't getting like a sweet pension.

That said- is the PGA Tour really going to have the guts to hold true when Tiger flat out refuses to play an event? What if it's his year to play an event and he has an "injury?" I'm not actually sure they could ban him from any major since the PGA Tour doesn't run those and would they really risk him deciding to play in Europe or just quitting in 5 years when he'd run out of time to avoid playing events he doesn't want to?

Here is my idea, though it will take time to truly see the effects; make the rule with a grandfather clause. You lose the Tiger's and Phil's, but get the every new PGA Tour member here on out. Heck- you could make a 10 year vet exemption and still be fine- so you can capture these young 20-something up-and-comers into the rule.

Full Story
Via GeoffShackelford.com


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[ comments ]
sepfeiff says:
Less people are interested in golf, unfortunately this means cutting tour events or forcing guys to play. Thanks a bunch Tiger. (incite riot below)
7/1/10
 
mjaber says:
I agree with the rule, and I don't think there should be a grandfathered clause. The PGA Tour existed before Tiger, and it will continue after him... Phil, too... though I think Phil might be a little more open to it.

I've seen a few different ideas thrown around, and the one I like the best is that a Tour player must play each event in a five year span. I'm not sure it should be applied to the tournaments after the Fedex Cup is decided, since those events are primarily in place for guys to earn/keep their cards. You MIGHT be able to make a case for the tournament before a major, especially the British Open, but with the tournament in Milwaukee offering a free charter flight after the tournie, I think it would be a stretch.
7/2/10
 
birdieXris says:
I'm with mjaber on this one. I like where it spans it out over a number of years. Maybe 5 years MIGHT be too long a stretch, but i think that there is a happy medium to be found and it will give both parties what they want. It keeps players from always skipping the tourney before or after a tournament. There's ample contests on tour and there's a lot skipped. That being said, this is a good idea for the tour.
7/2/10
 
mschad says:
What would they do if they didn't play? Ban them from the tour? If they want them to play in more events, use a point or multiplier system for purse money. X events per year and you get (prize money x 1). If you play only 2/3 of required events = (prize money x .67). You want them to play.... hit their wallets.
7/2/10
 
ElGalloGigante says:
I don't know about this, I mean, the Tour wants the higher caliber players to attend as many tournaments as possible for one reason, increased profits. A player like Woods or Mickleson makes more away from the game through endorsments, so you can't really hurt their wallets and you'll be running the risk of turning them off the idea of playing on Tour. These big stars can easily tune their games overseas, and like a Lance Armstrong, show up for the Majors (and fatten their wallets with strong performances their).

This idea seems heavy handed and near-sighted to me.
7/2/10
 
mjaber says:
@mschad... I think the idea is that if they don't complete the proposed event rotation in the alloted time, then they lose their tour card.
7/2/10
 
brianshaffer32 says:
This would be nothing but good for the tour, No Grandfather Clause, hold them all accountable, love it.
7/2/10
 
ElGalloGigante says:
Again, I don't understand the "hold them accountable" logic of this debate. Hold them accountable to what, making the Tour more money? I want to see Tiger and Phil at next years Texas Open as much as the next guy, but there's no real way to enforce this and you run the risk of driving them away.
7/2/10
 
mjaber says:
@ElGallo, I think the idea is to make sure that they can keep sponsors for the smaller tour stops. If they can start drawing some bigger names, by hook or by crook, they (the Tour) feels they can get the current sponsors, or new sponsors, to commit to more (years, money, etc.)

I don't think it's just about the Tour making more money. I think it's more about the Tournament getting more money. More money at the tournament means more moeny to the charities that benefit from the tournament. I say this with the belief that every tour stop has some charity attached to it. If I'm incorrect in this thinking, I'm sure someone will correct me. :)
7/2/10
 
ElGalloGigante says:
@mjaber - That makes sense to me, but again, how can you enforce something like this when the risk of pushing those players away is, in my opinion, so great? The public knows who Tiger and Phil are, so if they took their game overseas, the coverage would follow and the Tour and it's sponsors/charities would suffer more. I wouldn't try to force their hand.
7/2/10
 
mjaber says:
@ElGallo... I think the Tour is banking on the fact that they are the premier tour in the world. They seem to feel that they can get away with it because they have the biggest purses, pros want to play here.

I also wonder if Tiger/Phil would be as successful playing on the Euro Tour. They are the 2 best players in the world, but the PGA Tour is different than the Euro Tour. From what I've read, the courses on the Euro Tour differ alot more from week to week than on the PGA Tour. Could there be a comfort factor that the PGA has created?
7/2/10
 
ElGalloGigante says:
@mjaber - All valid points, especially the "comfort factor" line. This move is about getting the biggest of the bigs to play more events, right now, Tiger and Phil are the targets. While I agree with you that the Tour is the premier league with the most attractive purses, the two guys they're gunning for with this proposed rule are above that, financially and brand-wise.

Basically, my view is that a majority of the guys already play as much as they can, and the other stars that might skip a tourney or two are Europeans who would have the option to play overseas in relative comfort, but would likely stay States-side. Tiger and Phil wouldn't have any problem skirting this rule, so why enact it at all? The Tour will only look bite-less if Tiger and Phil decide not to play along. Don't make what may be obvious even more so.
7/2/10
 
woobwoob says:
The Tour should force players to play all tournaments to play every tournament over a several (3?) year period.

I would hardly call The Colonial a "scrub" tournament, but other than The Byron Nelson, it's all we've got in Dallas/Fort Worth. Tiger won't play the colonial because the course doesn't suit his game, but in my mind, he and everyone else should be forced to face their fears, man up and play in conditions that aren't ideal for them.

I really could care less about Tiger, but I would love to get an autograph from Camillo Villegas.
7/2/10
 
mschad says:
@mjaber..If the big draw players don't complete the proposed event rotation in the alloted time and lose their tour card. Who is that going to help? Then, how are they supposed to get their card back.. go through Q school?
7/2/10
 
mjaber says:
@mschad... Yes. If they want their Tour card back they have to do it just like everyone else. Q-School, sponsors exemptions. Isn't golf all about everyone playing by the same rules?
7/2/10
 
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