SBD/October 15, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Thomas Bjorn Confirms European Tour Requiring Members To Play In Home Country

Bjorn confirms European Tour trying to get top golfers to play in native tournaments
European Tour Tournament Committee Chair Thomas Bjorn last week confirmed that the Tour will "try to get more of its PGA Tour-based players to return to Europe more often," according to Alistair Tait of GOLFWEEK. Bjorn said, "There will be new regulations where you have to play more in your own country, and if there’s also more than three events in one country then they will have to play at least two of the three. It does not affect that many players because if you look at the schedule in general we don’t have big issues. It’s really only in Sweden where there’s been concern from promoters and sponsors." Tait noted the European Tour "increased the number of tournaments required for membership from 11 to 13 a few years ago to try to get more top players coming back," but that "hasn't really worked" (GOLFWEEK.com, 10/14).

WORTH THE EFFORT? Golfer Brandt Snedeker in a recent Golf Magazine article called the PGA Tour's drug-testing program a "waste of time and money," as only two players have been caught using PEDs in the six years it has been in place. Golf Channel’s Tripp Isenhour said, “Golf is an honorable sport. Brandt makes a good point: We do call penalties on ourselves and police ourselves. That doesn’t mean that the world is pure as the wind-driven snow for the PGA Tour players. There might be some guys trying to bend the rules a little bit, but Brandt also talked about those players getting called out and they kind of have a scarlet letter around them.” Isenhour: “The players know of the ones trying to bend the rules" (“Golf Central,” Golf Channel, 10/14).

CHANGING THE CULTURE: PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua talked about his first year with the organization and said the goals he set forth during the year were designed to "change some of the culture, particularly at HQ, to make it a more accepting culture in terms of really welcoming ideas from anyone, at any level.” Bevacqua said, “We can get great ideas whether you have been at the PGA of America for a month and you’re 24-years old, or if you’ve been there for 30 years. Kind of welcoming opposing points of view and hopefully leading to better solutions." He added, “We feel that we have two primary purposes: To serve our PGA members and to grow the game. So every decision we make as staff, every recommendation we make to our officers and our board, absolutely needs to come back to those two critical functions” ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 10/15). 
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