The PGA Tour schedule has been through a number of changes the last 10 years, adding a playoff system, beginning the season in fall instead of January, and now a player participation rule.
The mandate is to get players to diversify their schedule to help smaller events. A player who didn't play in at least 25 events the previous year must add an event they haven't entered in the last four years to their schedule this season. Those who don't comply with the rule could be fined $20,000 or even face a possible suspension.
One big name who's in Hawaii for the Sony Open is Justin Rose, who hasn't participated in the tournament since 2011, and feels adding an event early is easier than later in the season.
"As I looked at the schedule, the longer the year went on the harder it was to fit that in," Rose told Rex Hoggard of the Golf Channel.
The Olympic champion tends to begin his season on the West Coast Swing in California, but is very comfortable commencing his season in Honolulu.
"It's Hawaii, it's a long way but what a wonderful place to be. It's a nice soft opener, you're guaranteed good weather, and you can get a good read on your game. And this course suits me, you have to hit the ball well to keep it in the fairway and I think that suits me."
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