PGA Tour - a never ending story
Imagine flying from one destination to another, forgetting which time zone you’re in. You have a home, but the only time you see it is when you decide that you do not need the money. Knowing the bartender’s name at each clubhouse doesn’t make you an alcoholic, it’s just networking. Your wife and kids have to take a flight to see you, but on the bright side, you are no longer scared of turbulence; you’ve been through it a hundred times! For these reasons, Tiger, Phil, and “The Goose” did not make it to Hawaii for The Mercedes Championships.
The Mercedes Championships is a great tournament, and the course has been improved immensely. It is beautiful, greens are quick and true, and the time they play makes for excellent live coverage. Still, many people are disappointed that some of the biggest names in golf will not participate. If you happened to watch the opening yesterday, you saw the commentator look as if he would puke because Tiger, Retief, and Phil didn’t show up. He made a limp effort to tell their side of the story by repeating their excuses, but you could see his utter disappointment.
The PGA Tour season fills virtually every week for twelve months. The question is not if, but which tournaments you should skip. How can you blame them? With so many tournaments to fill a year, it is no wonder why excuses are being waved like white flags. Can’t you just picture Retief Goosen saying “I give up, Tiger can have the darn title; I just wanna sleep in my own bed!”
The problem is that these players get hassled for missing a tourney. Why? At least in Tiger and Phil’s case, they are the faces of the PGA Tour. Television viewership is estimated to be down a minimum of 50% if Tiger is not competing. It’s like watching the Chicago Bulls win without Jordan. Who wants to see it? As a result, the PGA Tour and its sponsors are hit directly in the pocketbook. It is the same, admittedly to a lesser degree, if Ernie, Vijay, or Phil Mickelson does not show up.
The argument can be made that watching a “no namer” win is just as fun as watching the top dogs win, but, you must admit, it is only fun to see David win if he is slaying Goliath. Why would anyone watch if Goliath decides to take the week off? There is simply no drama in watching an underdog beat an underdog!
The PGA Tour has a problem. They have over-extended their reach. It is not possible for a professional to make every tournament, and because of this, the sponsors have good reason to be upset. They make money when big names are playing. Why advertise if no one is watching? Therefore, a shorter, more condensed season is the only answer to fix the broken Tour.
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