Title: Woods' event remains atop new fall schedule
Description: Feel free to believe the PGA Tour is more powerful than its most prominent member. Keep thinking that should a power struggle ever exist, the organization would overrule the individual. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but there is some sizable proof toward the counterargument. Unlike years ago, the autumn months are no longer golf’s Silly Season, replete with hit-and-giggle, rich-get-richer exhibitions. Nor is this even like recent campaigns, with journeymen and youngsters alike attempting to retain status before the calendar turns. Instead, the PGA Tour has deemed this time of year the beginning rather than the end, starting its next season just weeks after the last one has finished. The irony hasn’t been lost on those potentially impacted. “I'm still wrapping my head around it,” Tiger Woods said of the wraparound schedule in a delicious bit of unintentional wordplay. At first blush, it appears that these tournaments will receive the same star treatment as when they followed the FedEx Cup instead of started it. Which is to say, not much at all. Last week’s season-opening Frys.com Open featured just one player, Hideki Matsuyama, ranked in the world’s top-30. This week’s Shriners Hospitals Open will quadruple that number, with Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson and Nick Watney joining Matsuyama, but four of the top-30 still pales in comparison. Video: Woods talks World Challenge, new Tour schedule In comparison to what? Glad you asked. The fields for each of these official PGA Tour events pale are pithy compared with that of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, Woods’ late-year tournament which is equal parts Silly Season event (it hosts an 18-man field with no cut and guaranteed money) and official event (it doles out world ranking points to every competitor). This year’s entry list for the 15th edition of what is usually referred to simply as “Tiger’s tournament” will read like a who’s who of elite golfers. Woods will compete, of course, as will five others in the current top-10 (Rory McIlroy, Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker and Jason Dufner); six more in the top-20 (Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Jim Furyk, Keegan Bradley, Jason Day and Lee Westwood); and four in the top-30 (Ian Poulter, Ernie Els, Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson).