PGA pecking order
So how, exactly, is a field compiled for a particular PGA Tour event? You think it's all cut and dried, right?
Of course not. Like anything else, the tour is a more convoluted than one would expect. And that goes for filling tournaments - even a large-field event such as next week's Greenbrier Classic.
Believe it or not, there is a 35-category pecking order on filling a regular tour event. Let's see how they apply, using the official Classic field, released Friday:
Webb Simpson is the latest addition to that esteemed list. Keegan Bradley is part of that list, too, and then there is that Tiger Woods guy.
Oddity with that category: Open and PGA winners prior to 1970 are grandfathered in for life. So Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper and Dow Finsterwald could enter, right?
Phil Mickelson and K.J. Choi had no worry about sinking to the alternates list.
Stuart Appleby and Scott Stallings won their current exemptions at The Greenbrier. Twenty-nine others in this category are expected here, including the most recent tour winner, Marc Leishman.
With the Classic's field of 156 players and a "regular" tour status, it appears all the "reshufflers" who entered will play.
Those remaining categories:
Combine all those levels with a $6.1 million purse, and you can find 156 players for any golf tournament. This year's Classic didn't need to go to the bottom.