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Proposal for top PGA players tabled

A proposal that would have required top-ranked players on the PGA Tour to pick at least one tournament from a handful of weaker events and add it to their schedule has been tabled and will not be implemented for the 2011 season.

The so-called "designated events" rule had garnered plenty of positive support earlier in the year, and even passed a first hurdle at a PGA Tour Policy Board meeting in the summer.

But in a subsequent meeting on Monday and Tuesday, where the details were to be worked out, the idea was instead abandoned for now, according to the PGA Tour.

Several tournament directors also acknowledged that the system would not go into effect in 2011.

The idea floated would have had the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings and/or the top 50 in the world rankings, who are PGA Tour members, being required to pick one tournament from a list of four to six events that were considered to have weak fields.

The hope was to bolster some tournaments that have had trouble attracting the game's elite, typically due to where the event lands on the schedule. There are also several tournaments likely to be played in 2011 without a title sponsor where having marquee names in the field could have been a benefit.

"There were concerns from tournaments and title sponsors that they didn't necessarily want to be on a list that could be viewed as "under-performing'' or "we need help'' or are in a class that puts out of the top tier,'' said Clair Peterson, tournament director for the John Deere Classic. "That, more than anything, stopped the forward progress. I think players were ready to buy into it.''

In fact, several players over the course of the year had expressed their approval and were simply awaiting the details. PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem had expressed support for some form of the rule and even predicted at the Tour Championship in September that it would happen.

"We will go to one of these models next year, for sure,'' Finchem said. "What model it is, whether it's a rule, whether it's a requirement, whether it's a process that everybody supports, we're a few week away from doing that.''

The policy board first approved the proposal in late July, but such a change requires it to be approved twice. The next scheduled meeting was this week.

Moving forward, the tour will ask players to add events voluntarily. The proposed change would have come with some penalty for not complying.

The PGA Tour's 42-week official schedule concluded on Sunday at the Children's Miracle Network Classic. In order to for a player to retain membership, he must compete in a minimum of 15 events.

Bob Harig covers golf for ESPN.com.