PGA Tour should not force players onto circuit: Nicklaus

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By Andrew Both

DUBLIN, Ohio (Reuters) - The PGA Tour should put to rest an idea to force golfers to play in a greater number of lower-profile events each season, Jack Nicklaus, the host of this week's Memorial tournament, said on Tuesday.

According to Nicklaus, whose tournament will include six of the world's top 10 golfers, the sport is too global to force the many international players to commit to more events on the U.S. circuit.

"You have got your four major championships, your (four) world championships. You have got your other significant events. (For) the players from around the world, that is a lot of golf for these guys," Nicklaus told reporters.

"They have got to go home and support their own tour. You start designating them to play more, it really becomes a difficult situation."

The idea of forcing tour members to play at least one designated "second tier" event among their minimum 15 starts each year came about as some lower-profile events struggled in recent years to draw decent fields because of the deteriorating economic situation.

Woods will play for only the fourth time this year, and the first since he pulled out of the Players Championship during the final round nearly a month ago with a neck injury.

He shot a brilliant final round seven-under-par 65 here last year to come from four strokes behind and post his fourth victory in the event.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)