THOUSAND OAKS, Calf. – No one was more surprised that the PGA Tour Policy Board did a 180 on a proposed designated tournament policy more than the players.
According to numerous Tour types the proposal that would have required the circuit’s top players add a wanting event to their schedules was tabled, and made “voluntary,” because of pushback from tournaments and, more specifically, sponsors.
Two tournament directors told “Shag Bag” this week that the stigma of being designated a tournament in need of help could hurt the event more than landing a marquee name would help. They also pointed out that a “designated tournament” that didn’t see a marked improvement in its field would be put in a difficult situation with a title sponsor.
There was also the concern that top players would simply trade a regular stop on their schedule for a designated tournament.
“In (Player Advisory Council) meetings I told them, ‘Guys I’ll be honest I’m 40 and have kids. If you want me to play X, Y and Z something (another tournament) has to come out,” said Jim Furyk before conceding he plans to add two extra events in 2011.
What to do with tournaments that are perceived to have a weak field, however, remains.
“I don’t know what we do now,” Furyk said. “I thought we were onto something pretty good.”
Although some tournament directors say the Tour should revisit a potential 1-in-4 policy – which would require every player participate in every tournament every four years, but would likely be grandfathered in which would exempt the current crop of stars – that doesn’t seem likely.
In short, tournaments with weak fields are on their own. At least for now.