Augusta National must decide if they will include fall winners


BETHESDA, Md. – On Tuesday the PGA Tour announced it planned to award full FedEx Cup points to what are now Fall Series events when the circuit transitions to a split-year calendar beginning with the 2013-14 season.

That move has prompted speculation about whether Augusta National – which currently awards exemptions into the Masters for winners of Tour events with full FedEx Cup points – would move to grant Fall Series champions a coveted spot in the year’s first major championship.

A spokesman for the club declined to comment on the news, but Fred Ridley, the chairman of Augusta National’s championship committee, said in April that the change would be considered.

“As we do every year, we evaluate our invitation criteria, and that will be something we are looking at based on where the PGA Tour comes out on that evaluation,” Ridley said. “But it is certainly something we will be considering along with a general review of the qualification criteria, which we do every year.”

On Wednesday at Congressional, Finchem said the Tour had “very preliminary” talks with Augusta National prior to Tuesday’s announcement.

“I haven’t looked at the data that our folks have generated on the field impact. One of their focuses there is that they like the field size and we’ll see how that plays out. I wouldn’t guess right now (how the club will respond to the change),” Finchem said.