In the March 14 installment of the Fantasy Mailbag, I pulled the fantasy equivalent of signing for an incorrect scorecard. First, here's the link: Seeking temp work.
It focuses on how Special Temporary Membership influences fantasy value.
Now, the excerpt with the gaffe: "... guys with Special Temporary Membership are still restricted to 12 starts just like all non-members."
In addition to the removal of the restriction of seven sponsor exemptions for non-members, golfers with Special Temporary Membership are also allowed an unlimited number of starts instead of the usual 12 plus THE PLAYERS plus starts via special invitations into any of the four majors. The provision for unlimited starts falls in line with everyone else higher in the Priority Rankings (except for the limitations on guys with medical extensions that would lose their TOUR cards if they fail to meet the terms of the medical).
Therefore, the difference between golfers with Special Temporary Membership and everyone else higher in the Priority Rankings is that golfers with Special Temporary Membership do not accrue FedExCup Points and official earnings.
The distinction that I overlooked doesn't enter into our consciousness often, which helps explain my error. Thank Ryo Ishikawa for forcing the issue.
The Bashful Prince is scheduled to compete in this week's Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. It will be his tenth start of the season. He was given a special invitation for the Masters, so for the sake of this example, he's made eight starts that would have otherwise counted against his maximum of 12 before he accepted Special Temporary Membership.
Ishikawa is committed to next week's FedEx St. Jude Classic and he's already eligible for the U.S. and British Opens as well as the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. He'll also eventually qualify for the PGA Championship. With the Memorial and those five events adding to his total of eight starts (minus the Masters), and he'd get to 14.
Readers did the math, thus prompting this Mailbag entry.
Peter Hanson is the only other golfer with Special Temporary Membership right now. I'd offer a similar analysis of his schedule to date in 2012, but as you know now, it doesn't matter. What's relevant to fantasy gamers is that he's going to play in the remaining three majors and eventually qualify for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. He's currently 25th in the Official World Golf Ranking. The top 50 on both July 23 and July 30 are exempt.