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“As we continue to have these issues, it’s certainly something to consider,” Pagel said. “But I don’t want to get ahead of myself.”

Regarding the players who get far more TV coverage than anyone else, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said there was no easy answer.

“We have a lot more cameras on the players who are in contention Sunday,” he said. “You’ve got 70-something players on Sunday. Seven or eight or 10 of them can win the golf tournaments; 85, 90, 95 percent of the camera time is on those seven or eight players.”

Finchem doesn’t have strong feelings about TV viewers calling in violations. He referred to it as “cumbersome and difficult and awkward” at times, yet interesting to the fans. He said the tour would take a look at prohibiting viewers calling in, though it is not believed to be a high priority.


PAYNE STEWART AWARD: Peter Jacobsen is this year’s recipient of the Payne Stewart Award, given each year to a player who personifies some of Stewart’s traits _ integrity, sportsmanship, presentation and charity.

The award began the year after Stewart perished in a freak plane accident in 1999, the year he won the U.S. Open.

“He was an amazing guy,” Jacobsen said. “A lot of you knew Payne, knew what he stood for. He was a dynamic personality, somebody who was as intense competitor as there is in the history of the game, but also somebody who knew how to have fun.”

And not just on the golf course.

Stewart played the harmonica in “Jack Trout and the Flounders,” the band of PGA Tour players that Jacobsen organized.

“Huey Lewis, who’s a great harmonica player, said Payne was about an 8 handicap on the harmonica, which is pretty good. Because he (Lewis) was about a 15-handicap golfer. So it’s a fair trade.”


THE FINALS: Ryo Ishikawa has received three special invitations to play in the Masters. He was awarded an exemption for the PGA Championship last month, even though he had fallen to No. 158 in the world ranking.

But getting a PGA Tour card? This time, the 22-year-old from Japan earned it.

Ishikawa had a 69-68 weekend at the third Finals event in Ohio. A week earlier, he shot 66 in the final round and finished fifth in North Carolina. Those results have assured him earning back his PGA Tour card for next year.

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