Limiited Fields, Limited Opportunities

The limited field issue appears to not be going away as Doug Ferguson tackles the issue of veterans not getting in Doral for that one last crack at Augusta. He also declares the WGC events a giant mistake.

The World Golf Championships have lost some zip the last few years, even when Tiger Woods wins them, which is often. They were designed to bring together the best players in the world. Now, the WGCs are best identified by players hardly anyone knows.

And a popular PGA Tour destination is worse off because of it.

The WGCs were a good idea when they were formed in 1999, but that was when the world's best players rarely got together outside the major championships. In this global environment of golf, the WGCs have quietly gone away — except they took Doral with them.

The Accenture Match Play Championship really is the only one left, and probably will stick around because of the format. The Bridgestone Invitational remains at Firestone, but look what it replaced in '99 — the World Series of Golf, which already was a WGC without the fancy title.

The other was the American Express Championship — now CA Championship with a new title sponsor — that alternated venues between the United States and Europe. Now it has been folded into Doral.

Instead of 144 players trying to keep it out of the white sand and blue water, there will be a 74-man field playing for free money. And there will be 70 other guys — more, really, considering the many non-PGA Tour members at Doral — who are home this week.

Worse yet, this is the last week to qualify for the Masters.'s Cameron Morfit offers a different angle by making a case for the injustice of Ryan Moore struggling to find a place to play.

The problem is, thanks to limited fields, Palmer's Bay Hill party is a tough invite, just as Jack's is and the majors are, just as the WGC events are, just as the four FedEx Cup playoff events will be.

Rather than apply for a medical waiver last year, Moore played through the pain and found that by pointing the club directly out from his belt buckle at address, as if it were a fishing pole, he could minimize discomfort. He finished T2 at the Buick Championship and T9 at the PGA, his first major as a pro, and ended the year 81st on the money list.

It was reminiscent of 2005, when Moore, after making the cut in the U.S. Open, turned pro and made enough money in eight starts to earn his PGA Tour card without having to go to the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament. He was the first person since Woods in 1996 to advance directly to The Show without enduring golf's dreaded bar exam.

Moore has his foibles. He doesn't use a yardage book and only recently decided to use a professional caddie instead of his brother. But Tom Lehman was speaking for many when he said recently that Moore could start winning in bunches any day. Ping prominently features Moore, a UNLV product, in its TV advertisements, waiting for him to blow up.

He blames himself, not his injury or Tour policy, for failing to qualify for this week's WGC-CA Championship, or the Masters. But when one of America's top prospects says he's finally healthy again and nabs a top-10 to prove it, and when that player is then snubbed from the following week's invitational in favor of players like Rummings and Stanley and sponsor's invite Mike Hulbert (MC), something is out of whack.