PGA Tour announces seven events in 2007 Fall Series
AKRON, Ohio, Aug 24 (Reuters) Next year's PGA Tour will culminate with a seven-event Fall Series after the completion of the big-money FedExCup season, commissioner Tim Finchem has said.
The seven-tournament stretch, offering prize money of .1 million, will start in New York on September 20, a week after the final points leader in the inaugural FedExCup series earns million as champion of the season.
''We're confident this schedule will appeal to a broad cross-section of PGA Tour players and will offer fans a series of exciting competitions and a variety of late-year storylines to follow,'' Finchem said during a news conference at Firestone Country Club yesterday.
''The best way to think of the Fall Series is it really is a stand-alone series of events that represents certain things, tries to accomplish certain things, and has certain import in terms of the players and the overall schedule.'' Finchem also said the Fall Series would have an impact beyond the 2007 season.
''Those seven tournaments will really determine a lot in terms of a player's capability or ability to compete in the FedEx Cup the following year and how that player will be able to compete,'' he said.
''Some of the things that will happen in the fall will affect the finish of the money list and certain things within the money list that impact a player's eligibility for certain events.
''All these events will have world ranking points, certainly access to the invitationals to some degree and access to tournaments generally. So it has significant importance.'' US Ryder Cup player Chris DiMarco said in a statement: ''The PGA Tour Fall Series will be exciting because there will still be so much to play for.
SECURING POSITIONS ''I think you are going to see a lot of players competing to improve or secure their positions for the following seasons.'' Whether the Fall Series attracts the big-name players remains to be seen.
For the rank-and-file on the PGA Tour, it will become a last-chance saloon to finish in the top 125 in the money list to retain full playing privileges for the following season.
''It's different things to different players,'' Finchem added.
''If you're a player who is already exempt for the following year, you're in the Tour Championship.
''It's a question of how much you want to compete against the best players during the fall period to keep your game organised as you prepare for the FedEx Cup.
''If you're everybody else, you're trying to position yourself for access the following year with an awful lot at stake.'' The Fall Series starts with the Turning Stone Resort Championship in Verona, New York from Sept. 20-23 and ends with the Walt Disney Classic at Lake Buena Vista, Florida from Nov.
REUTERS VJ BST0517