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Westwood, McIlroy get an extra US event
Question of the Day
The policy board adopted the change at its quarterly meeting last week. It allows a player like Westwood, who ordinarily could have played no more than three regular PGA Tour events, from having to choose between The Players Championship and another tournament.
Westwood said the tour informed him of the change last week.
Players who resign their membership or fail to play the minimum 15 events face a five-year period of playing only 10 tour events. Westwood gave up his U.S. membership in 2008 when he played only 10 times, while McIlroy decided this year to resign his membership.
Westwood prefers to play the Honda Classic (situated between two World Golf Championships), the Houston Open (the week before the Masters), and the St. Jude Classic, where he is the defending champion. Throw in The Players Championship, which has the deepest field and offers the highest purse in golf, and he would have to decide.
“That adds up to 11,” Westwood said Tuesday in Dubai, according to the London-based Guardian newspaper. “I would then have to pick between the Players and Memphis, and I don’t think anyone would have wanted that _ not the PGA Tour or the sponsors.”
PGA champion Martin Kaymer said Tuesday he would not take up PGA Tour membership, but since he has never been a member, he can play 12 tournaments and the new policy would not effect him.
Along with Westwood and McIlroy, the policy could also help David Howell, Darren Clarke and Patrick Sheehan of Australia. That would depend if they are in the top 50 in the world and eligible for the four majors, three WGCs and Players Championship.
TOUR BALLOTS: One way players could decide on their vote for player of the year would be to ask themselves this question: “Who’s season would I trade for mine?” That yielded this answer from Tiger Woods.
“Just about anyone else’s,” he said with a self-deprecating laugh.
The ballots have been mailed to PGA Tour members, who have until next Tuesday to submit their votes.
Mickelson is the only major champion (Masters). Furyk figures to be the favorite with three victories, including the Tour Championship and Transitions Championship against a strong field, and the FedEx Cup. Johnson and Els won twice, with Johnson twice playing in the final group of a major; while Kuchar captured only one tournament, but led the money list and won the Vardon Trophy.
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