Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rule 78 Comes Into Effect Right Away

There's a new rule for cuts on the PGA Tour this season. Passed last November - quite unceremoniously apparently - open PGA Tour fields now have two cuts: a competitive cut and a playing cut. For years, the standard for these events has been making a two round cut allowing the top 70 players and those tied to play the weekend rounds. Often times, that "and ties" part goes pretty lengthy - up to as many as 20 extra players. Now, if the number of players that make the cut line is greater than 78, then all of the players who make that standard will be paid. BUT, the number of players that will actually play the weekend rounds will be reduced to the number nearest 70.

That happened to John Daly this week at the Sony Open in Hawaii. After working hard to make the cut at Even par, Daly was informed by the Tour that he will be paid for his efforts, but didn't earn the right to play on Saturday and Sunday. He was ticked, as indicated by this story.

The intent behind the rule is twofold - eliminate the need to have overlapping tee times (1 and 10 tee) on the weekend AND to help logistics in the event that a tournament goes to a Monday or later finish. Still, the rule does not address ...slow play. It only reduces the number of players playing slowly. That is like becoming more organized by having less stuff. You can still be disorganized - just have less.

Players don't like the idea of being paid, but being unable to compete to earn more than the cut pay. They have already cited examples of Brad Faxon and Chris Couch - both winners of Tour events after making the cut on the number.

I think fans can pretty much expect this rule to go away next season.

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