Nobody will ever accuse LPGA Legends Tour members of being spread too thin. When the tour started in 2000, it had two tournaments. It hasn't exactly mushroomed since.
This year the tour had six tournaments, the most since 2007. The fifth one was Sept. 22, the BJ's Wholesale Club Charity Pro-Am in Plymouth, Mass. This week's Legends Open Championship at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor is the last tournament of the season.
Tour players don't want an abbreviated schedule, but it's hard for the tour to find a niche in a crowded golf market.
"I've talked to so many corporate guys recently, and they tell me that once (the economy gets) turned around, they want to get involved,'' said Tampa's Dale Eggeling, one of the tour's founding members.
"They like when we do corporate outings. It's great for their clients. It's great for people who come out and watch. It's a win-win situation. But the problem right now is that people are just hurting. That's the only drawback.''
How many tournaments would Eggeling like to see on the schedule one day?
"Twenty would be wonderful,'' Eggeling said. "Geez, that would be excellent.''
Withdrawals: Defending champion Sherri Steinhauer withdrew Thursday due to a family emergency. She was replaced by Jenny Lidback. Amy Alcott also withdrew and was replaced by Cindy Schreyer.
New faces: Many of the players in last year's inaugural tournament will tee it up Saturday for the first round, but some first-timers will be in the field.
Michele Redman, Meg Mallon, Laurie Kane and Beth Daniel will play Innisbrook for the first time. Also, Jane Blalock, who is on the tour board of directors and ran the tournament last year, will play. Blalock, who holds an LPGA record with 299 straight tournaments without missing a cut, has not played a tour event this year.