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What are problems with the men's 2007 schedule?
2/25/06 Page Content links to problems.  Fewer Players 



Fewer Events

The Commissioner Tim Finchem of the PGA Tour has stated he wants to reduce the schedule.
This would be done by: 

Have 39 events in the FedEx Cup and end the season September 15. The other 8 would not be included

Start the season the week after football's Super bowl, 2/4/0X (the tour still has 5 before this). A 32 week spread.  Three of the five events before 2/4/07 have already shifted to cable channel.

 The dropping of some 470 players.

However, we want the opposite of this idea.
We want to make it possible to increase the number of evens.

Here is quote from the GolfHelp.com  newsletter.
Issue # 268 Different Strokes Golf Newsletter - 3/30/05
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said last week that thought
is being given to moving the Tour Championship to September in order to make the end of the season more compelling. He also mentioned that a shorter season is one of several models for schedule change being considered. Driving the need to make some schedule modification is the revelation by TV networks that they are losing money on the last four-year contract with the PGA, which is estimated to be $950 million. Tournaments in September and October get significant TV coverage competition from football."

Upon further study, we have revised our opinion of the Fall Series.
It is our opinion that that there will not be a contest for the top 125 after the  FedEx Cup and that the Fall Series will slowly fade away.

More Events - A new Tour!

8/6/06 Original suggestion.
6/7/07 See revised suggestion
What should be done is create a third tour inside the PGA between the PGA  Tour and the Nationwide Tour.:

What should have been done for the FedEx Cup is have an open week before each of the four majors, THE PLAYERS Championship, and THE TOUR Championship. Use only events starting after the Super Bowl and ending 9/23/07 the week before the final season games in baseball, this would then be the Official Golf Season. This would allow 27 events in the FedEx Cup ( 33 weeks) instead of the 32 weeks when ending on September 15. The other 21 events outside the 6 majors would be determined by who has the largest purse. The FedEx Cup would have 27 events.

The Men's Open Field Tour.

There are, to our way of counting, 20 invitational, major, playoff and Championship events.
All the rest, currently 27 events, are open to all players and would be in the new tour. This would include the current "Fall Series" events for which the PGA has not been able to find a sponsor. This would keep those events from going away. No event in the new tour would be scheduled on the same weekend as one of the 6 majors. Only those events  starting after the Super Bowl and ending  the weekend before the final regular season games in baseball would be the Official Golf Season. Those events currently outside the official Golf season would have two years to move to a new date in the Official Golf season or not be counted in any championship. Events would be allowed to move up to the Open field tour from the Nationwide if they meet certain criteria and had the minimum purse. Events not meeting these criteria would move down to the Nationwide Tour. To make this  new tour more exciting, a time limit would be established for  the players to play a shot. Remember, basketball never used to have a shot. Look what the shot clock did for basketball. Did the players scream? Yes, but they got used to it. It now is at every level. With this, and the more balanced field, these events would have many more and larger playoffs and have big TV ratings. One only has to remember what happened when the ABA introduced the 3 point shot. A separate championship would be established for this new Open Field Tour.

Fewer Players

Revised 8/17/06

There were 668 entrants in the PGA Tour in 2005. They made 6320 entries. There are, with the 5 Champion Tour players considered full members, about 298 PGA Tour members, with about 58 inactive, or about 240 players who want to earn prize money. We expect that to grow to 250 for 2007.

To see how the FedEx Cup is going to affect the players, we need to take a close look at the numbers for those events that will be played prior to the Final Four. For those events not played in 2005 we have substituted averages.

The FedEx Cup points are only awarded to players who are paid prize money. With a $17.5 million purse for the top 5 and a total purse of 35 million in the FedEx Cup, we have to assume that  the better players will increase the number of events they play in. As the better players play more often to get points for the season championship, a lot of the current players will not be able to qualify for all the events they have qualified for in the past. This will concentrate the money in fewer players putting many players farther down the money list.

In 2005 the 13 events that had restricted or invitation entries had 902 paying positions, of which 134 were not members of the PGA Tour. The average number of members is about (Top)59. The other 20 events had 1521. The average number of paying positions in these 20 events is 76. Therefore, since we know that the Top 59 will not play all events and that they averaged 24 events in 2005, we can assume that they will spread out their playing and average at least 33 entries per event in these 20. If they played every event it would only take 17 players to take all paying positions. Thus from 17 to 43 players will be in the second tier of players.

These 17 to 43 players will certainly play the three opposing events. The Top 59 will not be playing in the opposing 3 events. Thus the bulk of all prize money will go to the Top 102 players, with70 positions paid in each event these are the players that will make all the money. Thus the 70 players who take the prize money in the 3 opposing events will also be the same ones playing in the Fall series. That means that only about 140 players will earn any prize money and will gather all the FedEx Cup points. That means 110 members will not make any money. Depending on how much the Top 59 expand their playing there will be a second tier of players (17-43 players) on the money list with high prize totals. Spots 60 through 76 to102. Thus the 70 players making money in the opposing 3 events and the Fall series will be fighting for the last 23 to 49 spots. The total purse for the FedEx Cup is about 35 million, therefore my guess is 25 spots. This corresponds with the fact that exemptions 1-19 could easily take up the first 100 spots. This also leaves 25 players contending for spots on the 125 money list.

With the announcement of the Fall Series and the size of those purse, plus the fact that some big name players are committing to play the Fall Series, there is no question that the top 100 players will take in the bulk of all prize money.

Is this going to happen exactly this way? Of course not, there will be enough players who cannot play the maximum 37 events or they realize that being in the Top 5 FedEx Cup points is so unrealistic that they will not care. There also are all the non member exemptions that each event has to upset this scenario. But I do think that the drive just to play in the Final Four for their sponsors, will push most of the players to substantially increase their playing. And many players below the Top 80 will have to play most of 37 events just to earn their normal prize money, thus freezing out lower players. Thus we predict that money earned beyond the Top 150 will be less than $100,000 not the $500,000 they are expecting.

We estimate there will be a total of 4230 entries possible in the FedEx Cup. That leaves about 1600 entries to be filled by other players. With 240 PGA Tour members, all entries will be taken, except for the special exemptions. The 12,408,000 earned by occasional players will flow upwards to the Top players. 

Only a few of the players who are lost from the PGA Tour will get into the Nationwide Tour because of the exempt status situation. Unfortunately with 668 entrants in the PGA Tour in 2005 something has to give. 120 members will not earn any prize money and the 350 non-members  will not even get to play.

Lost Players

What about the players the FedEx Cup is going to freeze out?

In an interview at the Tour Championship in 2006, a player expressed concern about the players who are not going to make any money because of the FedEx Cup.
 The question was asked "What are these players going to do?"
That is a good question and here is why.
For the most part these are new younger players everyone is wondering about. They have been asking, where are they? In my opinion they just have not yet brought their skill up to compete with the existing players. If they are frozen (forced) out, who is going to pay the pensions of the existing players? In my opinion if they are not there the PGA Tour will age like the Champions Tour and lose its TV audience, and with that the galleries. Where does that leave major golf?

I heard that some player suggested that there should have been two tours formed. This is something I have advocated on my website since March 2006.  The players need to convince the PGA to split the PGA Tour in two, one 27 event tour and the other 20+ as a new tour with its own championship. 
On my website I have stated that I believe about 120 players plus the some 350 occasional players will not even be able to enter tournaments in 2007 because of the increased play of the Top 144 players. Those 120 players below the top 144 who earned money in 2006 will earn nearly zero in 2007.  In my opinion, the only way to save these players is to get the PGA to split the FedEx Cup into two tours. The mini-tours do not offer any where near the prize money that these players will need to maintain what they have earned in the past. Additional comments can be found below.

This email was sent to most players and agents Nov 06.
Why is this going to happen?
A long detailed explanation can be found at:
The players are aware of the rule that for all the regular events and the playoff events, FedEx Cup points are only awarded to players who earn prize money. Those that are cut get zero points. When the Barclays Classic is played, only about 70 players out of the 144 will get points. These will be the best players, therefore, irregardless of where a player started before the event, a certain number will be mathematically eliminated from getting into the Tour Championship. Since these 70 prize winners will all be in the Top 125, it will not affect the chance for any player to get into the top 125. Those eliminated should be dropped from competition.

What all players are looking at is that players like Steve Flesch, Jerry Kelly and Troy Matteson already played 32 or more events in 2006. Another 79 players played 26 or more events. These players have already shown they have the endurance to maintain their skill over that many events It will be no big deal for these 96 players to step up and play 37 events, if they can get into that many events. This means any player who played less than 26 events in 2006 is going to have to play at least 32 if not 35 events if the player wants to be in the Tour Championship. That determination to play more than 32 events cannot be made until Monday after THE MASTERS April 9, 2007, the 15th event. Before that all players need to play every event possible. Everyone will then have a better idea of what is happening.

Thus all the players are aware they are going to have to play virtually every event possible to have a chance for the FedEx Cup prize, be it cash or the annuity they are now talking about. Three things are going to interfere or obstruct these plans.

1. Exhaustion. This affects both skill and the ability to even play. Both Vijay Singh and Joe Durant looked tired to me on Sunday of the Tour Championship. Joe Durant said after playing for the 11 event Fall Finish championship he was tired. Some players did not even show up. What are players going to do when they must play at least 32 events?

2. Outside commitments. Some players may decide to skip an event for family reasons and some because of other obligations.

3. Expectations. Some players may decide to skip several events because they are a Top 10 player (Tier 1) and feel that they can get into all the big point events and will have enough points, such that they do not have to play as many events as the Tier 2 players (next 77). Tier 3 players #88 through #144 know that they may get into the playoffs, but will not make any money because they will most likely get cut and so why try. Tier 4 players those 100-250 players outside the top three tiers can forget about making any money. They will have to find other means of earning a living.

So what does this all mean?

If Tier 1 players end up in a Top 40 starting position for the playoffs, they have a chance at the $10 Million 1st place prize. If they are in the next 50 they have a chance at playing in the Tour Championship. No chance for 1st or 2nd. Outside the Top 90 and they will not be in the Tour Championship.

If Tier 2 players end up in the Top 40 they have a chance to play in the Tour Championship. No 1st or 2nd. Outside Top 40 and they are not in the Tour Championship.

Tier 3 players. Forget it.

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