Friday, Feb. 10, 2006 | 12:32 p.m.
With the announcement of a new schedule beginning in 2007, the PGA Tour is likely to succeed in getting more of its top players to play in the same tournaments, Phil Mickelson said this week.
During the 35-event Fed Ex Cup portion of the schedule, players will earn points toward the four-event Championship Series, which will conclude in mid-September with the Tour Championship.
"We're not going to get the top players to play more events, what we want to do is get the top players to play more of the same events," Mickelson said during a teleconference this week. "And I think that we're creeping up on that and getting maybe three or four additional tournaments where the top players will play - even if we continue playing maybe just the same number of events that we've played in years past."
Although he has yet to finalize his 2007 schedule, Mickelson said he doesn't foresee himself playing in any more - or any fewer - tournaments in 2007.
"I typically play 20 or 21 events a year and I'll end up playing 20 or 21 events (beginning in 2007)," Mickelson said. "Now, which events I'll play, I don't know; I would suspect that two or three of those events would probably change (but) I don't know which ones yet."
Mickelson, who is the defending champion of this weekend's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, is off to a solid start in 2006 with three top 10 finishes in three starts.
The UNLV men's golf team will play its lone "home" tournament of the season next month when it hosts a strong field in the Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship.
UNLV, the defending team champion of the event, is one of seven teams ranked in the top 10 (by Golfweek magazine) scheduled to compete. In addition, seven players ranked among the top 10 collegiate players are expected to play. Both the top-ranked team (Georgia) and player (Oklahoma State's Pablo Martin) in the nation are expected to be in Las Vegas.
The Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship will be played March 10-12 at Southern Highlands Golf Club.
Brian Hilderbrand can be reached at 259-4089 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.