Silly season gets busier and busier
Tiger Woods will play in the Skins Game and the Target World Challenge. Vijay Singh has the PGA Grand Slam and the Father-Son Challenge. Other top players can chase free money at the UBS Cup or the Shark Shootout.
But the PGA Tour is all about opportunity, and this year it is offering something from everyone.
Anyone up for the Korea Golf Championship?
The latest addition to the silly season will be played Nov. 25-28 at JungMun Golf Course on Jeju Island. It was supposed to be a $4 million tournament for 60 players with $1 million going to the winner. The top 20 players from the PGA Tour money list through Aug. 22 were eligible.
The only hitch?
It takes about 20 hours to get there -- a flight to Seoul, transfer by bus to a regional airport, a short flight to Jeju Island and then another bus to the golf course -- and it starts on Thanksgiving.
To no one's surprise, there weren't a lot of takers.
Cameron Beckman was outside the top 125 on the money list in late August, but two months later he was holding out hope he could get in.
``I think I'm third alternate,'' Beckman said.
Among those planning to play are Mark Calcavecchia, who will travel anywhere for a chance to win $1 million. Besides, he won in Korea earlier this year at the Maekyung Open.
``I'm 1-0 in Korea,'' Calcavecchia said. ``It could be my place.''
Calcavecchia said he was in line to get a sponsor's exemption because of his earlier victory, but he made it through the money list -- even though he, too, was struggling to get his card.
Others who have committed include Tom Pernice Jr., Harrison Frazar, Arron Oberholser, Tim Petrovic, Brian Bateman and K.J. Choi, who figures to be the star attraction at home in South Korea.
But there already has been some changes.
Because of budget cuts, the purse has been reduced to about $3.5 million, causing tournament organizers to lower the field to 39 players to make it worth their while.
Still, it's a nice perk to those players who ordinarily don't get them this time of the year. Last place is $20,000, and players don't have to pay for the airfare or hotel.
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