GOLF: Open to lead off 2013 PGA Tour season

The gallery watches a drive from Tiger Woods off the 14th tee

In March, the Open took a major step toward becoming a full-fledged event when PGA commissioner Tim Finchem announced the tour’s policy board approved two significant changes – the Nationwide Tour becoming the primary path to a PGA Tour card, and the tour season’s start moving from January to October in 2013.

All that was left to determine was if the Open – which will make its third appearance at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin Oct. 8-14 – would be the season opener, and if the five Fall Series events would be counted toward the FedExCup season.

On Tuesday, those two questions were answered. The PGA Tour policy board approved a reconfigured FedExCup season that will begin in October 2013 with the Open slated as the first event of the year.

With the new format in place, the Fry’s Electronics sponsored tournament will be played in Silicon Valley the week of Oct. 7-13, 2013, immediately following The Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

The events formerly known as the Fall Series will be incorporated into the FedExCup with full points.

“The PGA Tour is pleased that the Fall Series tournaments will lead off the FedExCup season. The Open has been successful since its inception, and with it becoming the first event of the season, we are certain that Fry’s Electronics and their tournament staff will elevate the event even further,” Finchem said in a press release Tuesday.

“Duke Butler, Tournament President, and I have been striving for this change of schedule for two years, so this is great news,” tournament chairperson Kathy Kolder, an Executive Vice President and Co-Founder of Fry’s, said. “It should help grow our event in stature, player field, Golf Channel audience and attendance, therefore increasing net contributions to charity.”

The Open became an official PGA Tour tournament in 2006. The first two events were played in Las Vegas followed by three in Scottsdale before it moved to San Martin in 2010.

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