Rory McIlroy at Riviera for the Northern Trust Open? Rickie Fowler in White Sulphur Springs for The Greenbrier Classic? These are the kind of debuts golf fans could see next year thanks to a new rule issued by the PGA Tour.
According to the Golf Channel, a new rule requiring each player to compete in an event he had not previously played in the last four years has been approved by the PGA Tour Policy Board and will be implemented for the 2016-17 season. The penalties for not meeting the new requirement will be stiff: a fine that could exceed $20,000 and the threat of suspension.
Only players who compete in 25 or more official money events on the PGA Tour during either the current or previous season will be exempt from the new regulation.
The rule is an attempt to strengthen the fields of events that typically do not attract the Tour's biggest stars, and has potential to provide a much needed boost to fall and spring events that suffer while the world's best players compete overseas.