Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TOUR NOTEBOOK; Mum Is the Word on the Players' Move to May

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TOUR NOTEBOOK; Mum Is the Word on the Players' Move to May

Article excerpt

Byline: GARRY SMITS

Since information isn't forthcoming from the PGA Tour or the TV networks about the approaching negotiations for a new four-year contract, the media has been pestering players, tournament directors and sponsors for any tidbits.

They don't know, either. At least that's their story, and they're sticking to it -- even two of the four player-directors on the PGA Tour Policy Board.

That's especially true about the burning question on the First Coast: will The Players Championship move to May beginning in 2007, after six decades of PGA Tour golf in March?

That tradition dates to 1945, when the Jacksonville Open was played in March at Brentwood and Hyde Park until 1953. After a 12-year hiatus, the Greater Jacksonville Open was played at Selva Marina, Hidden Hills and Deerwood until 1976. The Players Championship moved to the First Coast on a permanent basis in 1977.

Joe Durant, in his first year on the policy board, said indications still seem to put the tournament in May as part of the new four-year TV contract.

"You get the impression that the Tour wants to find a way to put The Players in May," he said. "There are a lot of good reasons to do it. But no one has told the policy board that anything is a lock."

David Toms, in his second year on the board, also said that he hadn't heard anything beyond a general belief that the Tour schedule would change on several levels. He also had had his own take on the spot on the schedule The Players should occupy.

"They've made it such a great tournament that I don't care what time if year they put it," he said. "I'll show up."

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