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PGA Tour players reflect on signature events

PGA Tour players reflect on signature events

Not everyone is fond of the signature event structure that was implemented this season on the PGA Tour. Just ask veteran pro Nate Lashley, who pointed the blame directly at Commissioner Jay Monahan.

“Our No. 1 event is the Players and it’s a 144-man field. If that’s the best field all year, then why are these signature events that are supposed to be so good 70 (man fields)? It makes no sense. Look at how good the Players was this year. When you have more competition, things stay tighter, more compact. When you’ve got fields with no cuts it spreads things out. But we have a commissioner who is a chicken shit and won’t stand up to a handful of guys, that’s what happens,” Lashley said at the RBC Canadian Open last Saturday after making the cut. “You can’t tell me finishing top 10 in a limited field is similar to a 144- or 156-man field. It’s not even close. There’s no comparison. This is way harder.”

The series of eight Sig events was instituted to encourage the best players in the world to gather more often and play against each other for purses of at least $20 million against mostly limited fields, for jacked-up points and, more often than not, no-cut affairs. This week’s Memorial Tournament marks the seventh Sig event – this one does have a cut – with the Travelers Championship the finale of the Sig events in two weeks.

Count Mark Hubbard among the pros frustrated with the way the signature events are set up.

“It’s obviously set up to let in as few people as possible,” he argued. “They made the AON 10 and Swing 5 categories seem so dreamy but they didn’t tell us that the winner’s category was behind it and the world top 30 category was behind it. I think eight of the 10 (into the Memorial) would otherwise be exempt.” Lashley said he thought he should’ve been in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the first signature event that the lists were used for, off of his good play but was surprised to find that Matthieu Pavon, the winner of the Farmers Insurance Open, was counted in the Aon 5 and bounced him out of the field.

Hubbard said his biggest bone of contention is with the sponsor exemptions.

“Not even saying that I deserve one, but there are so many guys. I love Brandt Snedeker (who was given an invite this week at Jack’s Place along with Matt Kuchar) and he’s had an amazing career but he hasn’t played well in a long time. I don’t think he brings a lot to the tournament. He’s a great dude but Joel…


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