PGA Tour inches inches closer towards new one-in-four rule
As Doug Ferguson mentioned yesterday, Tim Finchem and the PAC (Player Advisory Council) believe they’ve laid enough groundwork to have the policy in place before the end of the 2010 golf season. That would of course mean the tour’s version of the one-in-four would go live at the start of 2011.
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 FedEx Cup 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.
Whether you agree with this policy or not, it’s impossible to overlook the potential benefits of having such a rule in place. Tournaments like the Greenbrier and Zurich Classic would get a huge bump with the addition of a couple big name players. And judging by the money these events are shelling out for watered-down fields, the tour should be doing everything possible to help them out in some way — even if it means forcing players to play in one more event.
Plus, with the tour’s television contract negotiations set to start at the end of this year, having a one-in-four rule in place would be a nice carrot to hang in front of network execs. It would at least give them something to look forward to when the RBC Canadian Open comes up on the schedule.