European Tour Shanghai's PGA Tour golfers on road to Dubai. Mickelson swing changes tested at HSBC and Thumb Caddy training aid
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The European Tour is sending a message to PGA Tour players, loud and clear, that a new era in golf is beginning with the 2009 season.
A new spruced-up tour, in which the European Order of Merit has been replaced with “The Race to Dubai” offers a $10 million pie at the end of the season with another shared purse after the season-ending Dubai World Championship.
Phil Mickelson may be defending this week at the first stop on the Euro Tour, the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, but guys like Anthony Kim and Camilo Villegas are ready to pounce. Villegas, for example, is not content to just play, he’s “definitely going there to win.” Mickelson, on the other hand, is hoping that swing changes he has been working on since 2007 will finally take effect. We discuss a few of these swing changes in this week’s show.
With players like Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott working towards another FedEx Cup-like purse on the European Tour, how soon will it be before golfers like Anthony Kim “jump ship” entirely and shift alliances? Or, perhaps one day, the PGA Tour might be forced to “merge” with the European Tour forming one huge conglomerate. Then there would be no more “off-season", no more “silly season” and viewers would be able to watch their favorite golfers throughout the year!
As Garcia noted, “Some of the tournaments we play in the Middle East … are bigger than the ones they play in the U.S. You get good players there, so world rankings points increase. At the end of the day, that’s what the big players do it for.”
Of course, if Tiger Woods has any input, his new golf course in Dubai might just host one of these events. Woods’ foray into golf course design is yielding several new courses, possibly with a consideration towards building his own “mini-tour". It is conceivable that Tiger could one day be “tapped” as the head of this global Tour…perhaps aptly named the World Tour! Who knows…stranger things have happened!
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