LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Anthony Kim should be playing in the Bob Hope Classic here, not the Abu Dhabi Championship, and PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem should have denied him his conflicting events release request, a member of the PGA Tour's Players Advisory Council said.
"I think it sends a bad message when you're out chasing money over in Abu Dhabi," said Scott McCarron, one of 16 players named to the PAC last week. "Are you helping the PGA Tour when you do that? Absolutely not."
Last week, Michael Milthorpe, the tournament director of the Bob Hope Classic, said he would like the tour to call a moratorium on conflicting events releases that permit tour members to play overseas events opposite PGA Tour events. Kim, a La Quinta High graduate, received one to play in Abu Dhabi, for which he is receiving an appearance fee.
"The tour does not have to give the conflicting events release," McCarron said. "It's up to Finchem. He can do that. He can say, 'Anthony Kim, you can't go to Abu Dhabi. You've got to play here. Sorry.' For tournaments like the Bob Hope, when you have guys like Anthony Kim and some other guys, especially with local ties, he should be here at the Bob Hope.
"We're at the start of the season, we need sponsorship, we need everybody playing here. And I mean everybody. For me, being on the PAC, I would say, 'Mr. Finchem, don't let any guys out, at least the first couple weeks.'"
Earlier this week, Finchem was asked his thoughts on calling a moratorium on conflicting events releases.
"I'm not much aware of a groundswell on that issue," he said. "The conflicting event releases we feel we've had in place now for 15, 20 years seem to be fine. You have the odd occasion where it raises a question, but on balance, we do not have a very significant of players at all seeking conflicting event releases. It's something we look at all the time. We look at it annually. We evaluate when we get a good number in any particular week. But at this time I don't see any change to the guidelines, but it's something we'll continue to keep under consideration."
McCarron argued that with the difficult economy and the tour's sponsorship problems -- the Hope does not have a title sponsor -- it is imperative that its members fully support the PGA Tour.
"The Bob Hope and the AT&T are our two most important tournaments on the PGA Tour," McCarron said. "The reason is that the amateurs playing here are lot of CEOs of companies. We're mingling with these guys. They're the guys that possibly will write the check some day and sponsor a tournament. We need everybody to play here."
-- John Strege