Finchem's plea: The early returns
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem sent a video to players in December with this request (among others): "We're asking every player to add a tournament or two to their historical schedule to assist the tournaments that historically have weak fields."
Taking the top 30 money winners from 2008 and subtracting the top two (injuries contributed to Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods playing in fewer events in January and February), here are the early returns on Finchem's request: Of the other 28 players, 11 played fewer PGA Tour events through the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in 2009 than they did through the same event in 2008; eight played more events; and nine played the same number.
It should be underscored here that it is early (nine tournaments into a 40-tournament schedule through the Tour Championship) and that only a full-season examination will tell whether the players took Finchem's request to heart.
-- John Strege