SBD/Issue 185/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Stricker: Top PGA Tour Players Will Be Required To Add Event In '11

Stricker Says Proposed PGA Tour Policy
Will Go In Front Of Board Later This Fall

Golfer Steve Stricker yesterday said a PGA Tour policy change that would require elite golfers to expand their schedules to include struggling events is "going to happen," according to Rick Brown of the DES MOINES REGISTER. Stricker, one of 16 players on the PGA Tour's Player Advisory Council, said, "It will go in front of the board later this fall. If passed, I'm sure it will be in effect next year." He indicated that three to six PGA Tour tournaments "will be designated next year, events that could most use field enhancements." Stricker: "Then we'll come to maybe the top 50 players from the previous Fed Ex Cup year and ask them to add another tournament from this list." He added the tour is "just asking for one tournament, they're not asking for two or three or four." Stricker: "If we can't do that, we've got problems." Stricker said that there will be "consequences for not playing in one of those designated-field events, but details need to be worked out" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 6/9). PGA Tour Exec VP & COO Rick George said that talks are "still in the early stages." George: "We would do it because we think it would help the quality of the field at a few events. We know that's important to our sponsors." Golfer David Toms: "Moving forward, it's going to be a little bit tougher to sell corporate sponsorships, just like in all sports. As players, we have to do whatever we need to do. If that means playing more, or playing certain events that need the help, I think it's a good idea" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/9).

MEMPHIS BLUES: In Memphis, Phil Stukenborg notes the PGA Tour St. Jude Classic, which tees off tomorrow, has a presenting sponsor in Smith & Nephew but "desperately needs the cash infusion a title sponsor brings." The event lost Stanford Financial as a title sponsor in February '09 and "without a replacement title sponsor, the tournament could be a Tour casualty." George said that the Tour is "'still diligently working for a title sponsor long-term' and appreciates the support shown by not only Smith & Nephew but also by former title sponsor FedEx." He said that the tournament "should be attractive to potential title sponsors on several fronts, including being one of the longest-running events on Tour and its consistently strong fields." George noted that besides the SJC, "only one other event -- the Bob Hope Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. -- is operating without a title sponsor" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/9). St. Jude Classic Tournament Dir Phil Cannon said that "four or five possible title sponsors will be represented at the tournament" this year. Smith & Nephew is an "obvious candidate" for a title deal, while Boeing -- "with an order to build 30 planes for FedEx -- is another that might make some sense" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/9).

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