Sports Outside the Beltway

Tiger Woods’ Limited Field DC Tournament Controversial

Some golfers aren’t happy with the new PGA Tour stop being sponsored by Tiger Woods. Yesterday Tiger defended himself and the limited field event.

ORLANDO — Despite criticism from other players last week, Tiger Woods said Wednesday it’s his preference to have a limited field for the PGA Tour event he will host in Washington this summer.

Woods’ event, called the AT&T National, drew staunch criticism from professionals Rich Beem, Brad Faxon and Glen Day last week after PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said the tournament might not have a full field.

The AT&T National is replacing a full-field event, The International, which folded this year.

“Field size is still up in the air. It’s not finalized yet. But we are certainly looking at a reduced field,” Woods said on the eve of today’s start of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. “We’re trying to put on the best possible field and best possible tournament we possibly can, and I think ultimately that’s what we’ve decided on.”

Woods’ opinion matters here. This is going to be his tournament that he hosts on the PGA Tour, just like Palmer hosts this week’s event and Jack Nicklaus hosts The Memorial in May. The National’s primary charity is the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Woods said he prefers his event, which will honor the military – Woods’ late father, Earl, was a Green Beret – be treated like the other invitationals that have fields closer to 120 than a full-field 156.

He says pace-of-play and logistical issues are his reasons for fewer players.

“I just think that when we get enormous field sizes like we do 156, sometimes you have a hard time finishing,” Woods said. “If you have any kind of weather delays, you’re definitely not finishing. Ultimately, a lot depends on the sponsors, what they want. This Tour is driven by the sponsors and TV, and that’s what drives our Tour.”

Woods is sponsoring the tournament, therefore he can set the field. Have Faxon, Beem or Gay protested against Jack Nicklaus Memorial Tournament, Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Classic or the Colonial Invitational. What we have is spoiled players(The tour exempts the top 125 money winners, which I’ve grown to conclude is way too many) who should probably not be even playing any more unhappy because they are out of the party. Play better better guys, then you can play all the tournaments you want. If not, stop whining, and preferably find some honest work while you’re at it also.

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