Change possible for event

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The PGA Tour proudly points to Shanghai as an example that not all of the World Golf Championships are staged in America. That would be easier to accept if the tour actually counted the HSBC Champions as an official event.

Phil Mickelson examines his putter on the second hole during the final round at the CA Championship golf tournament in Doral, Fla. Sunday, March 14, 2010.  Lynne Sladky/AP Photo
Lynne Sladky/AP Photo
Phil Mickelson examines his putter on the second hole during the final round at the CA Championship golf tournament in Doral, Fla. Sunday, March 14, 2010.

Phil Mickelson received $1.2 million and 66 points toward the world ranking, although he was mildly annoyed that this WGC event didn't count toward his PGA Tour victory total.

The status of the HSBC Champions as an official PGA Tour event could be changing.

"I do think it's something we should look at it, and we are looking at it," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. "I can argue that it's not a big deal, and I think that's probably the case. But still, it does raise the questions, 'Shouldn't there be a consistent approach to the WGCs?' We are in the process of taking another look at that."

STATE OF THE ECONOMY: Some golfers are losing that NASCAR look on their apparel with fewer sponsorship deals. Geoff Ogilvy and Vijay Singh are among those with no visible logo on their shirts.

Chalk that up to the economy. Without question, players are getting paid less even when they do have endorsement deals.

Chubby Chandler , head of London-based International Sports Management with players such as Ernie Els , Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy in his stable, has discovered that during recent negotiations. What looks like a substandard offer turns out to be more than fair.

"If you get 50 percent of what you had two years ago, you're doing pretty good," Chandler said during the WGC-CA Championship.

That makes the PGA Tour's next TV negotiation even more interesting, especially with key industry officials suggesting that the golf market has shrunk by at least 30 percent.

PINE VALLEY: Among the more popular golf tournaments in Florida -- one without much notoriety -- is the Pro-Member at Seminole, the renowned course where Ben Hogan and others used to prepare for the Masters Tournament.

Bubba Watson won in his debut this year with 63, noting on Twitter that his team shot 61.

Another such event is in the works with just as much cache -- the Pine Valley Pro-Member.

Pine Valley, perennially atop most lists of greatest American courses, plans to stage its first Pro-Member on July 28. The date makes sense because it's the Monday of the AT&T National at Aronomink, a short drive away in the Philadelphia area.

FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Phil Mickelson won the World Golf Championship event in Shanghai, but it did not count as a PGA Tour victory.

examines his putter on the second hole during the final round at the CA Championship golf tournament in Doral, Fla. Sunday, March 14, 2010. (AP Photo/)


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