Notes Hatless Phil Daly Denied

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2007 Buick InvitationalSAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The PGA TOUR makes a distinction between performance-enhancing drugs and recreational drugs in its anti-doping policy, and commissioner Tim Finchem is in charge of doling out any penalties for the latter.
 
Drugs such as marijuana and cocaine are among the group of substances that now are banned by the PGA TOUR.
 
For performance-enhancing drugs, the penalties is up to a one-year suspension for the first violation, a five-year suspension for the second violation, and a permanent ban for a third positive test.
 
In each case, there are exceptions for 'drugs of abuse.' Those penalties are determined by Finchem.
 
'If we got a positive test, it could conceivably be that a substantive abuse is being taken for a competitive advantage. We would doubt that, but it's possible,' Finchem said Wednesday.
 
If it was determined the drug use was lack of judgment or addiction, punishment would be handled accordingly. Finchem said that could be disciplinary action, rehabilitation or continued testing.
 
'So it could conceivably be that a player is disciplined at some level and then if he's allowed to continue to play, he's tested on a regular basis to help him deal with those issues,' Finchem said. 'We view that as somewhat different than a player who has intentionally taken a substance to gain competitive advantage. That would be dealt with in a different arena.'
 
The LPGA Tour policy does not discriminate between performance-enhancing drugs and recreational drugs.
 
The greater concern, which some players have expressed privately, is whether Finchem would have too much power to discipline players for recreational drug use, leading to the perception that he is playing favorites.
 
'Candidly, I don't think it puts me in an uncomfortable position,' Finchem said. 'I think it puts me in a position to make a tough decision. But we have a lot of comfort that we've managed in the discipline area for the last 30 years, and me for the last 15 years, and I'm called on to make those decisions frequently. They're not any different. It has to do with players' conduct.
 
'I think we have a pretty good history of dealing with that, and we would anticipate continuing that.'
 
HATLESS PHIL:
Phil Mickelson played his pro-am round without a cap, rare for such a highly ranked player. And it could continue until Mickelson he works through his deal with Bearing Point.
 
Bearing Point recently replaced CEO Harry You, who was Mickelson's partner when they won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last year. The CEO also was trying to sign up Bearing Point as the title sponsor at Riviera until his board balked.
 
Mickelson did not want to discuss the endorsement.
 
'I don't know what I should or shouldn't say on that right now so I'm going to hold on,' Mickelson said. 'But we're trying to finalize some things up as we speak.'
 
What kind of hat will we wear at the Buick Invitational.
 
'I'm not sure,' he said. 'We'll see.'
 
DALY DOINGS:
John Daly was waiting to see if he would get a sponsor's exemption to the FBR Open next week outside Phoenix, and he got his answer Wednesday. The tournament gave its last spot to 20-year-old Jason Day.
 
Daly had his pick of exemptions last year, the first time he was not fully exempt since his 1991 victory in the PGA Championship, and he withdrew six times while dealing with a rib and shoulder injury.
 
He withdrew last week after three rounds of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, citing an injury. The Los Angeles Times reported that Daly was a regular at tournament parties during the Hope, and eyewitnesses told the newspaper that he was helped out of one after-party by an unidentified man.
 
Day, the youngest player on the PGA TOUR, and Daly are represented by the same agent.
 
BARCLAYS VENUE:
PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem says he is still negotiating with Westchester Country Club on a contract that was to play The Barclays there at least three times in six years.
 
The tour already has said the first FedExCup playoff event will be at Liberty National in 2009, and recent reports have indicated the tour already is considering moving this year's event to Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.
 
'We would like to perhaps accelerate the rotation somewhat,' Finchem said. 'But we are in discussion with Westchester on a wide range of options within that, and I don't want to get into speculating on any one course, but we are deep into discussions.'
 
He expects a decision shortly, especially if it means not playing at Westchester this year.
 
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