WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – Designated tournaments for players moved one step closer to becoming a reality. The PGA Tour’s Policy Board approved the concept during a meeting July 26 at The Greenbrier, site of this week’s inaugural Greenbrier Classic.
Player directors Brad Faxon and David Toms confirmed to Golfweek that the concept received the first vote of support necessary to move forward.
“We still have to work out the details,” Toms said.
Still undecided is how many tournaments with traditionally weak fields will be designated – three to six seems most likely. Toms said that tournaments in need of a boost to their field strength and have signed long-term commitments to the Tour will be given preferential treatment.
Under the proposal, top-ranked players will be required to add one more start. How many players ultimately will be affected – 30 to 50 – and under what criteria – based on the FedEx Cup standings, Tour money list or Official World Golf Rankings – are among the details still being ironed out.
Jim Furyk, the top-ranked player in the field at Greenbrier, said he favored the proposal, but still expressed concerns whether it will create other problems.
“Where do you draw the line?” said Furyk, a member of the Players Advisory Council. “If it is three tournaments, then Nos. 4 and 5 will be saying, ‘What about me?’ ”
He also noted that having to add a designated tournament wouldn’t mean he would play more. He explained that he had a cap as to how many tournaments he would play in a season.
“I’m only going to play 25 tournaments,” he said. “There’s 18 events that I won’t go to this year where they’re raising money for charity and they have 1,500 volunteers, where the community is busting their rear end to put on the biggest show they possibly can, and, you know, the owner is spending $750,000 to upgrade the course so the pros like it.
“That’s every week, 43 weeks a year, and we have to say no.”
Toms said the Policy Board has a meeting scheduled for November, and could approve designated tournaments to begin as soon as the 2011 season (a policy change of this nature needs to be approved twice).
For an association that is reputed to tilt right politically, Furyk joked, “We’re starting to sound like a bunch of Democrats.”