tampabay.com

Discussion continues on appearance fees

By BOB HARIG
Published March 23, 2005


PONTE VEDRA BEACH - The subject of appearance fees was expected to be a hot topic on Tuesday night at the only mandatory meeting of the year for PGA Tour players at the Players Championship.

The issue has been a big one on the PGA Tour all month after Ford paid Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington to participate in an outing the Monday before the Ford Championship at Doral. The following week, a letter sent to some tournament directors by International Management Group offered to set up similar outings with top players, with the implication that they would stick around for the tournament.

Tournament directors met with PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem on Tuesday to discuss the topic, and Finchem reminded them that the tour's policy does not permit appearance fees. Gerald Goodman, tournament director of the Chrysler Championship at Innisbrook, attended and said several adjustments to policy were discussed, but nothing was resolved.

HOT DRIVER?: Tiger Woods suggested two years ago that players on the PGA Tour might be using drivers that exceeded U.S. Golf Association limits for spring-like effect, known as the Coefficient of Restitution. The tour developed a machine to test drivers beginning last year. Very few have been tested, but the Associated Press reported that Woods' Nike Ignite driver was tested - and passed - at last week's Bay Hill Invitational. Tom Pernice asked tour officials to test Woods' driver before Bay Hill.

Pernice asked that Woods' driver be tested after watching him outdrive Phil Mickelson by some 25 yards at the Ford Championship.

AROUND THE TPC: One of the more interesting pairings has David Duval playing with John Daly during the first two rounds. Duval shot 85 Thursday during the opening round at Bay Hill, while Daly had an 11 on No. 18 Sunday. ... The Players has every player ranked in the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking... The field dropped to 146 when Scott Hoch withdrew with a wrist injury.