Either that or the players are showing Tim Finchem who's boss. Technically, Finchem works for the players, of course, but as the PGA Tour commissioner, he's the man in charge, and last December, in a video message to the rank-and-file, he asked "every player to add a tournament or two to their historical schedule to assist the tournaments that historically have weak fields."
In early March, at the end of the West Coast swing, we examined the impact his plea had on the players and found that of the top 28 players on the 2008 money list (excluding Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh because of injuries), 11 had played played fewer events in '09 than they had through a similar stretch in '08, eight had played more, and nine had played the same number.
Now that the season is half over, 22 weeks into a 44-week schedule, we thought it time for another examination. Of the same 28 players, 13 had played fewer events (up from 11), eight had played more and seven had played the same number. We again excluded Woods and Singh (though it should be noted that each has played more in '09 than they had in '08 to this point of the schedule, Woods principally because he's healthy now, unlike '08 when he took the month of May off recovering from knee surgery).
It is still subject to change over the last 22 weeks, of course, but it does seem as though Finchem's request largely has been (and figures to continue to be) ignored.
-- John Strege