Even as many of the best European players have decided to reject PGA Tour membership and stay closer to home this next year, the Tour has extended an olive branch. Normally, a player who has dropped their membership would be limited to ten starts in PGA Tour or PGA Tour co-sponsored events. Those co-sponsored events include the four majors, three World Golf Championship events and the Players. That leaves only two regular Tour event openings, and for Lee Westwood, that would have prevented him from defending his title in Memphis.
The sponsors of the Memphis event (which last year included PGA Tour bread-and-butter FedEx), could not have been happy about that. So, the Tour essentially decided to give Westwood a pass on the Players. With the new rules, teeing it up in the Players doesn’t count against your limit. Now, Westwood will be able to include Memphis on his list.
Four other players, including Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke also will be able to take advantage of the ruling.
Oddly, players who have never been a member can play in 12 events. Seems like there’s a little bit of a scored lover issue going on there.