(AP) — The Player Advisory Council considered four options before approving the proposal that only the nearest number to 70 play on the weekend if the cut includes more than 78 players. The proposal passed by a 75 percent margin.
The other options were top 60 and ties; top 65 and ties, as is done in Europe; the nearest number to 70 regardless of how many players finishing top 70 and ties; and a Saturday cut of top 70 and ties which Jeff Sluman has advocated for years.
One PAC member who favored the change was Rich Beem, who finished 119th on the money list in 2007, the final year of his five-year exemption from winning the PGA Championship.
“If this rule hurts anybody, it hurts me,” Beem said. “Go look at my record. I live on the cut line.”
Brad Faxon won Hartford in 2005 after making the cut on the number, although under the new policy, he would have kept playing because 77 guys made the cut. His concern is that in a situation like the Sony Open, some players are denied a chance to move up.
“But if you know the rule before you start, make sure you’re not on the cut line,” Faxon said.
The most bogus complaint of the weekend was that players didn’t know about the new policy. That’s their fault. The tour sent an e-mail when the change was approved in November. It was in the “green sheet” report they get in the mail and in lockers. It was available on “Tour Links,” the players’ web site. And it was attached as a cover sheet to the 2008 regulations everyone received.
“It’s going to happen to everybody once or twice, and they’ll be upset about it,” Faxon said. “All I know is if you’re out there for greatness, it’s not going to be a big issue.”
Kenny Perry has an ambitious goal of playing the Ryder Cup in his home state of Kentucky.
Chad Campbell wants to get back into the top 50 in the world, if not higher.
Shaun Micheel hasn’t won since his PGA Championship four years ago and is trying to get his game on the right track.
One thing they have in common is a contractual mess with their agent.
They are — or were — represented by David Parker of Links Sports Management Group in Plano, Texas. Perry said Parker informed them by e-mail last year that he was getting out of the business.
Still to be decided is what payment Parker has coming, and that’s where it gets messy.
“My attorney is trying to meet with Dave’s attorney and they’re trying to come to a common ground,” Micheel said. “Thus far, we haven’t found that — not really close. It’s a tough way to start the year, but I’ll just let my lawyer handle it and try to play good golf. I haven’t spoken with Dave. I’m not sure I’ll ever speak to Dave again.”
Parker could not be reached for comment. The phone at Links Sports and his mobile phone are no longer in service.
Perry said he has five years left on a deal with TaylorMade and three years with Hartford Life. In most cases, Links Sports would be entitled to a fee each year until the contract expires.
“I told Dave I’d pay him all the contract money, but he wants it all up front,” Perry said. “I said, ‘When I get paid, you’ll get your percentage.’ He offered me a buyout deal, which was probably 95 percent of the contract. I could write him a huge check.”
However, Perry said he had a contract with a company that went bankrupt, and he didn’t receive anything.
“What if I write him a big check and something like that happens?” he said.
Campbell did not want to discuss the situation, other than to say it was disappointing.
“I’m just trying to get everything settled with him and get on my way,” Campbell said.
Parker once boasted that in 2004 he had more Ryder Cup players than any other agency, a roster that included David Toms.
In 2005, Toms filed a lawsuit against Parker which eventually was settled out of court.
“I was the first guy with him. I got him in the business,” Perry said. “I should have known a red flag was up when David Toms sued him.”
Dennis Harrington, who worked with Parker, resigned from Links Sports in September and reached a non-compete settlement. Harrington started his own company, Orasi Sports, a few months later and is helping Campbell and others as a liaison.
“I just hope that Dave and the players can work something out,” Harrington said. “It doesn’t look very good.”
Michelle Wie did not play the Sony Open for the first time since 2003, and swing coach David Leadbetter said last month the plan was to play one or two LPGA events in Hawaii.
Looks like it will only be one at the most.
The LPGA Tour gets under way Feb. 14 with the SBS Open at Turtle Bay on Oahu, but a tournament official said last week all the sponsor exemptions already are taken. That leaves Wie only the Fields Open at Ko Olina, where she finished third in 2006.
EASY DOES IT
Ernie Els disliked soggy La Costa Resort, where he never got past the second round and didn’t play the Accenture Match Play Championship the last two years it was there.
Don’t look for him in Arizona, either. Els, eliminated in the first round last year, does not include the first World Golf Championship on his 2008 schedule posted on his Web site.
The Big Easy is not expected to make his PGA Tour debut until the Honda Classic, the start of playing six times in seven weeks through the Masters. One wrinkle in the schedule is he plans to play every week before a major.
That means he will be at the Stanford St. Jude Championship in Memphis, Tenn., but will skip the Memorial.
DIVOTS: Stewart Cink at No. 24 is the highest-ranked player at the Bob Hope Chrysler Championship… Greg Norman plans to play the Mayacoba Golf Classic, the first time since 2004 he plays more than one regular PGA Tour event. Norman also will be at Pebble Beach… The LPGA Tour filled a “TBA” on its schedule by announcing the Bell Micro LPGA Classic to be held Sept. 11-14 on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Mobile, Ala. It will be a full-field event… Jim Furyk once was asked in a magazine article for his dream foursome, and it included former President Bush. Imagine his surprise when he received a letter in the mail from the 41st president. “He said, ‘Thanks for including me.’ And he said his game was horrible,” Furyk said.
STAT OF THE WEEK: If the Nationwide Tour did not award world ranking points, Brandt Snedeker would be No. 20 in the world instead of No. 46.
FINAL WORD: “I have got two years left of my original plan. I have got to start winning tournaments, fast.” — Ernie Els, in the second year of this three-year plan to become No. 1 in the world.