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PGA Tour players required to play less in 2013

PGA Tour
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MOBILE, AL - NOVEMBER 10: Ben Barry of Tuscaloosa carries a stuffed Pink Panther on his shoulders as he follows Paula Creamer through her third round play in The Mitchell Company LPGA Tournament of Champions at Magnolia Grove Golf Course on November 10, 2007 in Mobile, Alabama. Creamer is nicknamed the Pink Panther. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)  - 

Another byproduct of the PGA Tour’s transition to a split-calendar season beginning with the 2013-14 schedule will be a temporary reduction in a player’s minimum number of starts.

Because of the loss of the fall series events, which will now kick off the new season, players in 2013 will only need 12 starts to maintain their status as voting members. Previously, players needed 15 starts to retain their voting rights.

“You don’t have to play as many because of the short season,” said Davis Mathis, who likely secured his Tour card for next season with his tie for 10th on Sunday at Sea Island. “It should help because nobody really knows what to expect (next season).”

The one-year tweak will not apply to international players who use the circuit’s “home tour exemption” rule to play two circuits and is one of several one-off adjustments the Tour made to ease the transition to a new schedule.

Because of the reduction in playing opportunities with the loss of the fall series starts, some tournaments have been asked to expand their field sizes in 2013 and the rules for sponsor exemptions have been adjusted to accommodate more Tour members.