Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Barron, Fujikawa join eGolf Tour

Doug Barron, the first and so far only player to be suspended from the PGA Tour for violating the organization's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, has joined the Charlotte-based eGolf Tour for the 2010 season.

Barron, 40, is serving a one-year suspension from the Tour for an undisclosed violation.

He missed the cut in his only PGA Tour start in 2009 at Memphis and missed the cut in his four starts on the Nationwide Tour.

"Legally, we can't do anything to keep him from playing," said Stewart Moore, chief operating officer of the eGolf Tour.

"It's not our right to keep him from playing our tour based on the rules and regulations of another tour. We don't have a (drug-testing) policy of our own."

Barron has entered the first two events of the season, which begins Feb. 17 on Hilton Head Island.

Hawaiian teenager Tadd Fujikawa has also joined the eGolf Tour for 2010 and anticipates playing a full schedule.

Fujikawa, 19, is moving to Sea Island, Ga., where he will be closer to his instructor, Todd Anderson. Fujikawa has spent time at Sea Island in the past and without status on the PGA Tour or Nationwide Tour, he will play primarily on the eGolf Tour.

In 2006, Fujikawa qualified for the U.S. Open as a 15-year old, the youngest player ever to qualify for the event. As a 16-year old in 2007, he became the second-youngest player to make the cut in a PGA Tour event when he accomplished the feat at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

"I talked with (my) coaches and we really tried to decide how we were going to do this because the past years, I have been playing on exemptions," Fujikawa told reporters at the Sony Open last week. "I play one week and then I have a two or three-week break, then play another week. It's hard to get some rhythm and momentum going.

"So we decided to try to get out there and play a few tournaments in a row and see how well I can do out there and put myself in contention every week."