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Finchem admits Matchplay date is wrong

US PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem today admitted he bungled the dates for next year's world championships matchplay event in Melbourne in January.

World No.1 Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Colin Montgomerie are among several leading players who have said they will skip the lucrative event, to be held at Melbourne's Metropolitan course from January 3-7.

The dates, so close to the start of the year, mean that overseas participants will have to leave home before New Year's Eve.

"I don't think it was a mistake to go to Australia. I think it might have been a mistake to go to Australia when we go," Finchem said.

"It could have been better scheduled. Players have so many options these days and when we start to take away the very limited holiday they have, it creates difficulty.

"Asking European and American players to travel the distance they have to travel on a holiday might not have been the smartest thing.

"What's the point of being Irish if you cannot do things stupid now and then."

Finchem, to his credit, all but acknowledged that he himself set the dates, even though the matchplay is part of the World Golf Championships, which in theory are run by the Federation of World Tours.

In reality, however, the US PGA Tour calls the shots because it has the strongest and most lucrative tour.

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