Rich Beem said he was “insulted” by the possibility of Tiger Woods’ new tournament (AT&T National in Washington D.C.) being treated like an invitational, similar to Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Invitational. Invitationals typically have smaller fields. Beam and other players like Brad Faxon are concerned because the tournament the AT&T National is replacing was a full field event.
Rich Beam: “It’s the most totally wrong thing I’ve heard of in a long time that’s sticking it to the players. We’re trying to get back more spots throughout the year, and all of a sudden we’re going to have a limited-field tournament? That goes against everything the players voted on with the playoff system. If that stays the way it is, I promise you there will be some action taken.”
That “action” would be an override of the PGA Tour’s policy board with a 66% or more vote by the players.
Brad Faxon: “I was shocked when I heard that. We’ve got players looking for spots, and we’re replacing a tournament that had a full field. With the amount of tournaments we have that are invitationals, it doesn’t make sense to do more.”
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem sites pace of play, the hot conditions in Washington D.C. that time of year, and the “prestige” factor as reasons for the field format.
This will be interesting. You gotta hand it to Beam for standing up for what he feels is right.