SBD/January 7, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Possibility Of PGA Tour Expanding Field For Tournament Of Champions Gaining Traction

Hyundai's title sponsorship of Tournament of Champions expires after next year
An official for the PGA Tour's Hyundai Tournament of Champions said there is a "big movement afoot" to expand the field for the event, according to Dave Shedloski of GOLF WORLD MONDAY. The subject is "broached annually," but it is "gaining traction with the concurrent expiration of the site contract at Kapalua Resort and Hyundai's title sponsorship after the 2015 edition." However, most players polled during last week's tournament "are opposed to changing the traditional field structure, while others doubted it would make much difference unless the marquee names attended." Golfer Brandt Snedeker said, "It wouldn't necessarily make the field better, but sponsor-wise and fan-wise, a larger field would probably create a little more buzz." Hyundai VP/Marketing Steve Shannon said that the company is "happy with this year's field" (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 1/7). The AP's Doug Ferguson wrote the subject of expanding the field "has more to do with names than numbers." One name "in particular comes to mind" in Tiger Woods, who has not played the event since '05, while Phil Mickelson has not played since '01. Golfer Brian Gay said, "It's the only one that's winners-only, right? It's different. It should be. It's always been different. I've heard people kicking around a two-year exemption, where you win and get in here for two years. That's not a terrible idea that way. But I think it's cool the way it is." Ferguson noted the options the Tour is considering "are a two-year exemption to Kapalua for winning or inviting the field from the Tour Championship." Golfer Adam Scott said, "It would be a shame to change it. Some things have to change, other things should stick with what they are. My feeling would be it would lose some of the gloss on the tournament if it was not the Tournament of Champions. What should you call it then?" (AP, 1/6). 
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