Finchem: Appearance fees can go to a player's head

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NASSAU, Bahamas – World No. 1 Jordan Spieth will spend the third week of January playing the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. World No. 6 Rickie Fowler will be there as well.

That same week the PGA Tour will hold a tournament in California’s Coachella Valley, an event that – unlike the European Tour stop in Abu Dhabi – doesn’t dole out hefty appearance fees to woo top players.

On Wednesday at the Hero World Challenge, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem was asked if those appearance fees and the overseas exodus of some marquee players they cause is a concern.

“There isn't anything happening out there that would say the guidelines are starting to get pushed by players in typically unique situations,” Finchem said. “Certain places have a fair amount of appearance money and it can in turn go to the player's head.”

Tour members are allowed three conflicting event releases per season to play overseas, and a player can be granted one additional release for every five events over the 15-tournament minimum he plays.