Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Florida Swing is Changing

Bob Harig explains that the scheduling behind the Florida events - commencing this week with the Honda Classic - is about to change for the second time in 3 years for the 2009 season.

For the second time in three years, the order of the events will be altered in 2009, meaning two World Golf Championship events will be played within three weeks and the Arnold Palmer Invitational will get the much-desired last spot among the foursome.
Next year's order: Honda, CA Championship, PODS and Arnold Palmer.

The interesting thing about this story is that, as Harig mentions, the Florida Swing used to be set almost in stone.
From 1987 through 2006, the order of the four tournaments was exactly the same: The Doral event in Miami, followed by the Honda Classic in the Fort Lauderdale area, Bay Hill and then the Players Championship at PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach.
But, the changes to the WGC - its existence, making Doral into a WGC event - and the move of the Players Championship to May have caused a significant shift in the FL swing. We will now see 2 WGC events in a three week span. That could be the death knell for a decent field at the Honda Classic, which is the unluckiest event of the bunch.

What's the proof? Every tournament director quoted in the piece seemed happy with the change. The only tournament director not quoted? Honda Classic.

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