The Norman Transcript

National Sports

January 2, 2013

Bubba’s Masters menu among questions for ’13 season

(Continued)

KAPALUA, Hawaii —

McIlroy gives Nike another world-class athlete in its stable. But whatever recognition his clubs receive might be akin to an offensive lineman who gets his name called only when there’s a penalty.

3. Short of season: The PGA Tour season might feel more like a sprint than a marathon this year. The season, in effect, ends with the Wyndham Championship on Aug. 18, the cutoff for qualifying for the FedEx Cup playoffs. And once the playoffs end at the Tour Championship, the 2013-14 season starts in October.

That might mean more players competing more often, which could put the squeeze on Q-school and Web.com Tour graduates by limiting the number of tournaments they can play to try to qualify for the playoffs.

4. Anchors away: The R&A and USGA announced late last year that anchored strokes used for the belly putter and long putter will be banned starting in 2016. The question is whether the PGA Tour, which has the right to set its own rules, will enact the new rule much sooner.

There already is evidence of a stigma attached to those who anchor their putters — Keegan Bradley said a fan called him a cheater at the World Challenge last month — and it might be in the best interest of the tour to make the change quickly. But when?

5. Masters Invitations: For the last six years, the Masters has been awarding invitations to winners of PGA Tour events that offer full FedEx Cup points. The Fall Series didn’t count, nor did the events opposite a major or World Golf Championship.

One problem. Starting later this year, there is no Fall Series. When the tour goes to the wraparound season, there will be an additional six tournaments that under the previous policy would award the winner a spot in the Masters.

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