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PGA TOUR FACES PROBLEM OF NO-SHOW STARS IN EARLY TOURNEYS
Published February 29, 1996
The PGA Tours top players "are competing less and less as their business schedules are filled with more and more, and commissioner Tim Finchem is saddled with bylaws that render him virtually powerless to reverse the trend," according to the Jaime Diaz in the latest issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. Diaz explains, "once a touring pro is established as a player of repute, he can put in as little as 15 to 25 competitive weeks a year -- most of it aimed at peaking for majors, the true career makers. In the remaining time he can play in lucrative unofficial events, collect appearance money overseas and design golf courses, and in the process he can make more, much more, than he would win on tour." Among the options facing Finchem: Raising beyond 15 the minimum number of tournaments required for Tour membership; mandating that no player skip more than five in a row; or making the release policy for foreign or TV events "more stringent." But Finchem is "unwilling to make any of these moves." He argues that the top players still play in about the same number of tournaments, and that TV ratings and attendance figures back the claim that better competition overall "adequately fills whatever void is created" when top stars don't show (SI, 3/4 issue).