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PGA TOUR'S FINCHEM HOLDS FIRM ON WORLD TOUR VIEWS
Published November 30, 1994
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, "the man with the soft CEO demeanor who governs a normally laid-back sport, has turned tough guy and is playing hardball." Finchem said the PGA Tour will suspend players who choose to play events, without permission, on the newly created World Tour (Glenn Sheely, ATLANTA CONSITUTION, 11/30). Finchem: "If a new tour becomes a reality in 1995 or thereafter, our members will have to decide whether they want to continue to play on the PGA Tour or play on a new tour. This is not dissimilar from the decisions [pro] athletes in other sports were forced to make when competing leagues were formed." Finchem laid out some points that need to be considered when forming more int'l events: The size of the field, eligibility, purse breakdown/money guarantees, event selection, charity and governance. Finchem: "I would invite all PGA Tour members, including Greg Norman, and all other individuals and organizations involved in the world of golf to work together to consider a series of international competitions which could meet the above criteria" (PGA Tour). ON THE FTC PROBE: Finchem also addressed the current FTC investigation of the PGA Tour: "We believe the FTC staff's position is not well-founded. These rules (a) have been responsible for tremendous growth in professional golf output in this country (whether measured by number of professional golfers, number of competitive tournament opportunities, amount of golf on television or prize money); (b) have provided in excess of $250 million in charitable contributions over the years; and (c) form the basis for the structure of the sport of golf that is superior to the structure of any other professional sport" (PGA Tour). Finchem said the FTC process could take 4-5 years, and it is possible the PGA Tour will ask for some intervention from Congress (WASHINGTON POST, 11/30).