SAN MARTIN -- A field with 10 major champions, including Vijay Singh and 2012 British Open winner Ernie Els, does not lack for star power.
And the incentive awaiting the 132 golfers playing the Frys.com Open at the CordeValle Golf Club this week -- $5 million in prize money and the opportunity to increase their chances for automatic berths in every PGA stop next season -- is nothing to sniff at.
But tournament president Duke Butler chose to look down the road Tuesday before focusing on this year.
"This tournament becomes a little more prominent each year," he said. "Frys has an excellent reputation for taking care of players and their families and the caddies. We believe we're growing relationships that will culminate in something fairly magnificent someday."
Butler is looking into the not-too-distant future when electronics magnate John Fry will have finished all the amenities at The Institute, the course in nearby Morgan Hill he constructed with an eye toward making it a regular PGA Tour stop.
But even before that, the Frys.com Open is stepping up from its status as one of four stops in the PGA fall series. Next year's tournament -- which will again be played at CordeValle -- will have more prestige as the opening stop on the 2013-14 tour. For the first time, players will earn FedEx Cup points.
Butler estimates 60,000 fans will head to the rolling hills south of San Jose over the next five days for this year's tournament, which also is honoring Bay Area golfing legend Ken Venturi. That's about 25,000 more than attended the Frys.com Open's 2010 debut at CordeValle but 15,000 fewer than came a year ago when Tiger Woods made his first appearance.
Larger crowds increase the size of the checks to the charitable groups that benefit from tournament proceeds, Butler noted, but bigger isn't always better for the sport's followers.
"The crowds are not as large on site," he said, "but that enables the fans to get up close and personal with the players."
So who are some of those top players this year?
Where: CordeValle Golf Club, San Martin
purse: $5 million.
Winner's share: $900,000
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m.)