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PGA Tour Medical Exemption policy change...

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Post by robopz Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:05 pm

Slight change on Medical Extensions for the 2014-2015 Season going forward, but it might have a significant effect in "shortening" the Medical Exemption List over the long term .

As per the PGA Tour the change is as follows: "Changes to Medical Extension System beginning with those players injured in the 2014-15 season. An extension beyond three seasons will not be granted unless there are extreme circumstances. Once a player begins play under his medical extension, additional time will not be extended beyond the subsequent season."

Probably the most significant effects of this new provision is a player now has a time limit to begin using his medical exemption AND a time limit on how quickly he must complete it starting with the date he makes his first start. Couple those changes with an already existing regulation which allows a player to take only one career exemption for a single ailment, and in the FUTURE it should help "clean up" some of the issues of guys who may be seen as attempting to be "career medical exemption" specialists. {{wink, wink, Anthony Kim, cough, cough}}

In effect... had this provision been in effect in the past... it is likely Scott Hoch and David Berganio, Jr. would no longer appear on the medical exemption list, that is unless they qualified for the "extreme circumstances" as noted above. And there might be others on the current medical exemption list who made their first medical start in the 2013 season, but didn't complete them in 2014 who would have lost their exemption if this new policy were in effect at the time they started their medical.

One other area of concern in the past has been players suspected of no longer being medically unable to play, but choosing to remain out of action and continuing to receive disability payments that aren't deserved. I suppose that can still happen... but now it can't happen beyond the 3 years.

See Medical Extension list here: http://www.pgatour.com/fantasy/medical-extensions.html

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Post by Roller_Coaster Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:19 pm

Is it telling that the link appears to say "fantasy medical extensions"?

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:30 pm

I wonder if Oberholser is commenting on these changes on Golf Channel?

Would think makes perfect sense - perhaps the "Undercover Pro" might feel he had something to do with this. Though not really apples and apples with his complaint.

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Post by robopz Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:00 pm

Roller_Coaster wrote:Is it telling that the link appears to say "fantasy medical extensions"?
LOL... could be.

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Post by robopz Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:33 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Would think makes perfect sense - perhaps the "Undercover Pro" might feel he had something to do with this. Though not really apples and apples with his complaint.
Actually it IS apples and apples, at least to part of his complaint.  In his various explaination of what was wrong was: "If a guy has 20 events and wants to milk it, he might play his five favorite events over four seasons. There's no limit to how long a major medical can last, as long as you reapply each season." And that DID happen in at least a few cases... think Hank Kuehne. He started using his 20 medical starts  back in 2007... he didn't use his last one until 2013.  Hank went 4 years there where he didn't make a single start (2008-2011)

Bottom line: I don't know if Undercover Pro was in any part a catalyst on this or not, there was plenty of grumbling from others that was going up the line without his comments. But of course his comments being so public couldn't have hurt.  

But one thing seems clear... the Tour now realizes they have a problem getting enough starts for the Webbies... and it appears as though they recognize medicals as being part of that problem.  There were a few other minor changes that should help Webbies out at least "some" this year... and this move should have a positive effect in the future... that is IF they crack down on the bogus exemptions. And I think there's more than just a possibility that's exactly what they intend to do.  Undercover Pro was wrong about one thing... even with the prior policy, the Commissioner has the ability to require sufficient medical exams to verify the injury until he is satisfied. That doesn't mean he has to just blanket accept whatever the players doctor submits. So it becomes a question if he's going to actually exercise the powers he has under the policy (which reportedly they have been reluctant to do in the past). IMO, they're now more motivated to do so.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:44 pm

Yeah, Not sure about Kuenhe though, always unclear to me whether he was injured, getting himself dried out, or just playing with Venus.
Cases such as his are very much the exception; would have thought the rule is chronic injuries such as those bedevilling Dudley Hart and Oberholser, and it seems they could still be exempt.

But it does look like they intend to flush Anthony Kim out of whatever hole he's crawled in to!

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Post by robopz Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:49 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Yeah, Not sure about Kuenhe though, always unclear to me whether he was injured, getting himself dried out, or just playing with Venus.
Cases such as his are very much the exception; would have thought the rule is chronic injuries such as those bedevilling Dudley Hart and Oberholser, and it seems they could still be exempt.

But it does look like they intend to flush Anthony Kim out of whatever hole he's crawled in to!
Near as I can tell, this policy change won't affect anything in the Anthony Kim situation because the changes start with players injured starting now.   But what MIGHT affect Kim is if the Tour really does crack down on the verification of injury situation.  Under the prior existing verbiage of the policy, Kim still needs to annually reapply for his MME.  Just because the Tour has routinely accepted those reapplications in the past [reportedly] does not mean they MUST continue to do so in the future unless they are convinced he's still physically unfit to resume his career.

And on the Olberholser's and Hart's... I think what the Tour is saying with these changes: ...  we give you a reasonable safety net due to injury, and we give you reasonable time to work them through... but if you can't... sorry, tough luck as WE'RE not going to keep paying you disability forever.

I guess it's time for these guys to start looking into AFLAC...

EDIT: And as for Hank... I can't offer even a clue what the deal is with him... and within my circle is a bunch of folks who are big friends and supporters of the Kuehne family over the years.... Hank, Trip, Kelli...   And while I've never been in the position to try to ask any of the Kuehne's myself... I know some of the others have, but run against a brick wall on that one.    But I KNOW Trip and Kelli were incredibly dedicated hard workers... IMO both got the max they could have out of their games. Trip just wasn't "that good" and Kelli had the medical issues.  But on Hank... here's my guess... and ONLY a guess...  I never got the "driven" vibe from Hank.  More like he was the true "natural" talent of the family, but just didn't have the gumption to do the work to maximize on it.. or maintain it.  Then when legitimate injury issues started to surface... instead of doing everything he could to work through them, he found a comfort zone in figuring out a way to go along his merry fun loving way and NOT to have to deal with them...


Last edited by robopz on Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:09 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by beninho Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:53 pm

From reading the recent Anthony Kim story, was it that he had a separate insurance policy, which will only pay if he does not play on tour again. Does he need to stay registered with the tour if he has no intention of playing again?

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Post by robopz Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:07 pm

beninho wrote:From reading the recent Anthony Kim story, was it that he had a separate insurance policy, which will only pay if he does not play on tour again. Does he need to stay registered with the tour if he has no intention of playing again?
I guess one would have to know the specific language of his supposed policy to know for sure.   But i would "think" that if he's sufficiently proven to his insurance company that he can no longer compete and he takes the money... no sense continuing on with reapplying for extensions. But if he DOES intend to play again, and using his MME... then yes, he has to keep reapplying every year.

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