|ESPN.com: Golf||[Print without images]|
It is sad that it has come to this, but with so many choices, so much money at stake, why would a PGA Tour pro put up with the hassles of six-hour rounds, bumpy greens and back-slapping celebrities if he really doesn't want to?
As was the case last month at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, the big-time players have not exactly showed up en masse for this week's Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Hosted by one of the most picturesque courses in the world, you would think that alone would be enough of a lure.
But the long rounds with amateur partners, the often inconsistent quality of the greens due to weather, and having to play three vastly different courses has kept several stars away. Tiger Woods is skipping again, as are most of the top 20 in the World Ranking.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson is back, as is Vijay Singh who won the tournament two years ago. But they are among just four players among the top 10 and only five among the top 20.
|Got a question about the PGA Tour? Ask ESPN.com golf writer Bob Harig, who will answer your inquiries in his column each week.
Q. What does it mean when some tournaments are designated as Invitationals? I've heard players say they'd like to get into these events, but I can't figure out what makes the difference.
A. There are three true Invitationals on the PGA Tour: the Bay Hill Invitational, Colonial and Memorial. These tournaments have smaller fields than the typical PGA Tour event, hence the need to be "invited," which typically means a higher finish on the money list. At Bay Hill, for example, a player who finished among the top 70 on last year's money list gets invited. The Buick Invitational is that in name only. A full field teed up in the tournament two weeks ago. The Bridgestone Invitational is a World Golf Championship event that has different criteria for getting into the field. The Masters is also considered an invitational, as it typically has a field of less than 100.
Q. Do you know why Kevin Na has not played in any events this season?
A. According to his agents at SFX Sports, Na suffered an injury to his hand when it got caught in a garage door. He has entered several events but withdrawn because he was not ready. Na hopes to play next week's Nissan Open.
Bob Harig covers golf for the St. Petersburg Times and is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.