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SBD/May 10, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Finchem Says PGA Tour Must Overlook Augusta National Policies Because Masters Is "Too Important"
Published May 10, 2012
ONLY CHOICE TO MAKE: In Orlando, Jeff Shain writes, “Really, the tour has no other choice. Suppose Finchem steps to a podium one day and says the Masters won’t count as an official victory or its winnings toward money list. Who would listen?" The Tour "can’t prohibit its members from competing in the event" (ORLANDO SENTNEL, 5/10). In Jacksonville, Garry Smits asks, “What does everyone expect from Finchem? If he announced today that the tour would not recognize the Masters as an official victory and the earning as official because Augusta National’s policy, can you imagine any player eligible for invitation not competing in the tournament?" Tour members "are allowed to enter a certain number of non-sanctioned events and you can bet this would be at the top of their list.” Smits: “Finchem’s hands are tied on this issue. Only Augusta National can loosen the knots” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 5/10). GOLFWEEK’s Jeff Rude wrote, “I don’t like that Augusta National gets a pass. I don’t like that the private club with public connections through the Masters hasn’t evolved to the point of admitting a female member. I don’t agree with the Tour’s double standard, its looking the other way in regard to the Masters. And I don’t like that Finchem said a golf tournament is more important than a discriminatory practice.” Rude added, “But I understand where he’s coming from. And I appreciate his candor. … He was honest with the ‘It’s too important’ stand. He had guts to say that instead of skirting the issue, as he has done deftly in the past” (GOLFWEEK.com, 5/9).