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Five year exemption for FedEx Winner

The winner of the FedExCup not only gets $10 million, but a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour.

If that sounds like a nice perk, it really isn't.

In a category that gets overlooked because it has never been used, the PGA Tour has always offered a five-year exemption to the winner of the money title.

"We're just mirroring that with an exemption for the FedExCup," said Andy Pazder, vice president of competition for the PGA Tour.

Pazder could not recall any player needing to lean on his five-year exemption for winning the money title, noting that those who win a money title usually have higher status from winning a major or The Players Championship, which also come with five-year exemptions. That holds true even five years removed from the money title.

Hal Sutton won the money title in 1983, but his slump that led him to use a one-time exemption for career money didn't come until 1992. David Duval won the money title in 1999, and he fell out of the top 200 on the money list five years later. But by then, he had won the British Open and earned a five-year exemption that ran out this year.

"I've been here 11 years, and no one has ever needed that exemption," Pazder said. "Maybe it's because Tiger has won the money list every year but two."

Make that three -- Vijay Singh won in 2003 and 2004, and Duval won in '99.

The rest of the money titles have gone to players who have proven to be the best of their generations. In the last 50 years, Frank Beard in 1969 is the only player to capture the money list who never won a major.

Starting next year, the PGA Tour will offer five-year exemptions to the winner of the money list and the FedExCup.

As for that $10 million check, senior vice president Ric Clarson disclosed last week that it would be deferred into a retirement plan.

December 6, 2006


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