Nice SI/golf.com Confidential today with this especially sharp discussion on the trend of stars playing less as the tour adds more.
Gary Van Sickle and Joe Passov with two vital points:
VAN SICKLE: The PGA Tour continues to eat its young. The World Golf Championships made the lower-level Tour stops seem less, then the FedEx Cup made the WGC and all the regular stops seem less. Plus the FedEx Cup "playoffs" killed the summer schedule. Players are forced to play seven of 11 weeks from the U.S. Open on (two majors, four FedEx Cup, one WGC), thus making every other date on the schedule unattractive to the top players, and therefore to potential sponsors. “Less is more” sounds like a snappy argument unless you're out of the top 50 and suddenly can play only 22 events instead of 32. It's an alarming trend.
PASSOV: If he skips smaller, Tiger-less events such as Humana, L.A., Houston and St. Jude, they're in trouble. Here in Phoenix, where we have been without Tiger since 2001, we always say, "But at least we have Phil." Nobody moves the needle like Tiger, but Lefty is a healthy second.