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PGA Tour announce FedEx Cup 2007 schedule

The inaugural FedEx Cup schedule for 2007, which culminates in a four-event Championship Series, was announced by the PGA Tour on Friday.

The points-based competition will span 37 weeks, starting with the season-opening Mercedes Championships in Maui, Hawaii from Jan. 4-7 and ending with the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Georgia from Sept. 13-16.

"A significant amount of time and effort went into the development of the FedEx Cup schedule to maximise the strength of our tournaments, sponsors and venues, while providing a logical flow geographically," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement.

"The major championships, the Players Championship, the World Golf Championships and the season-ending, four-event Championship Series will create and hold fan interest throughout the FedEx Cup season."

Finchem's statement came two days after he announced that coverage of the 2007 Tour would be confined to just two of the three major television networks under new six-year deals agreed with CBS and NBC.

Also from next season, the Golf Channel will be the Tour's exclusive cable partner in a 15-year deal.

Friday's release of the inaugural FedEx schedule follows a radical shake-up of the PGA Tour which began last November.

Under pressure from advertisers to bolster faltering late season television ratings, Finchem has focused on a tighter schedule and some badly needed credibility for the season-ending Tour Championship, which will be brought forward by six weeks.

Although the four majors will continue to represent the pinnacle of the game for players and fans alike, the FedEx Cup will highlight the latter portion of the PGA Tour.

The Cup will lead into a late U.S. summer playoff of three blockbuster events culminating with the Tour Championship in September.

The Championship Series will begin with the Barclays Classic in New York from Aug. 23-26 followed by the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston from Aug. 31-Sept. 3 and the Championship Series/Chicago from Sept. 6-9.

The season finale could offer a purse of $10 million.



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