Turkish Tournament Leaves PGA Questioning Its Policy On Releasing Players For Events
The Turkish Airlines World Golf Final will be going up against "a big event in the fall series,” the Frys.com Open, according to Golf World senior writer Tim Rosaforte. Fry's Electronics CEO John Fry is a “deep-pocketed new sponsor (and) wants into the regular season” but ISM Founder Chubby Chandler, who organized the Turkish event, “ran into John Fry at the Dunhill last week and said that Fry was cool with it (but) the PGA Tour isn’t though. There’s been some serious push as it relates to player releases to hold this event.” The Turkish event is going against a sponsor the PGA Tour “is trying to protect and court for bigger and better things.” Rosaforte: “But there will be a lot of buzz about it.” Golf Channel’s Gary Williams said the PGA Tour “is not thrilled” with the Turkish event, which features a “lot of money and you’ve got events going on” simultaneously in the PGA and European Tours. PGAer Steve Flesch said the PGA Tour “is against the appearance fees … but they still grant the release for the guys to go play. 'I got a problem with it, but go ahead.’ It’s a little hypocritical to me.” Flesch: “If they have a problem with it but they still release them, it’s on the Tour. They didn’t stand by their guns.” Web.com Tour’s Chris Tidland said, “You say you have a problem with it, you could have kept them here if you wanted to and maybe (Tiger Woods) would have played (the Frys.com Open).” Williams said if the PGA Tour is going to have a 50-week season and “these silly season events in other parts of the world that have the money to throw at you … you’ve got to live with that.” Williams: “That’s the reality when you look at these new frontiers, like the Far East (and the Turkish event).” Golf World Exec Editor Ron Sirak said the tour commissioners “need to protect their tournaments (but) on the other hand they don’t really want to tick off top players either” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 10/8).