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Sorting Out The Wildly Entertaining Presidents Cup Scheduling Brouhaha

This one appears only interesting to a few bigwigs until you start to read about the ramifications and the hilarious backdown of a PGA Tour that for once, was outleveraged.

Here goes...

The European Tour schedules the 2011 South African Open the week of the Presidents Cup, even though the Cup's date had been set for some time. Ernie Els, not exactly a favorite of his teammates, balks and suggests he might play the South African Open instead.

Fast forward to the Masters and the all mighty Big Oak negotiating sessions where the PGA Tour, European Tour, Sunshine Tour and a certain heavyset player agent ironed out a deal that, according to Steve Elling who first broke the news on, has this year's South African Open swap dates with the Dunhill Cup in South Africa, allowing the South Africans to play in the Presidents Cup and their home Open.

The real stunner in Elling's report, which was confirmed today by AP's Gerald Imray: South Africa gets a WGC event at least this year, and perhaps for the next five. Even more amazing, it'll have a $10 million purse, the richest on the PGA Tour.

The tour had no choice but to back down, notes Elling.

Five of the top six players on the Presidents Cup's current International Team points list are native South Africans who would have faced the decision of whether to play their national Open or the team event held in years when the Ryder Cup isn’t contested.

The source said that Australian players might have backed the boycott, too.

So combine the South Africans with the Aussies and well, you have no Presidents Cup team. Which would explain how, even with the date set long before the others, the PGA Tour had to cave even though we know Tim Finchem would rather talk about his old speeding ticket problem than play a World Golf Championship event outside the United States.

Even more amusing, Tiger's Chevron tournament has now been drawn into the equation. Sunshine Commissioner Gareth Tindall, quoted in the AP story:

A date and venue hasn't been decided but Tindall says organizers will look at the first weekend of December, clashing with Tiger Woods' Chevron Challenge and South Africa's own Nedbank Challenge at Sun City.

On Woods' event, Tindall says, "they will have to move it."

And you thought the Presidents Cup was meaningless...

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Reader Comments (20)

This sounds like the Dunhill Cup is getting screwed. But since I'm not quite sure what the Dunhill Cup is, maybe that's not surprising.
04.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJim S
Playing a couple WGC's outside the US should happen, but the Euro/Sunshine tours should never have scheduled the SA Open against the Presidents Cup (which already had a date). I'm not generally a fan of rewarding poor behavior.

It'll be interesting to see who attends the WGC event. December is not a good date if you want American players, but 10 mil is a lot of money. I hope Tindal doesn't expect Tiger to come though after that response, he could have handled it a little smarter.
04.12.2011 | Unregistered Commenterseak
Schadenfreude overload- Ponte Vedra edition.
04.12.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka
Geoff, how is Els not a favorite of his teammates? Explain
04.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJames H.
I second James's request.
04.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKeithT
third. i thought els was an easygoing well liked guy? what's the story?
04.12.2011 | Unregistered Commenterthusgone
Fourth. Let's hear it.
04.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterPJ
And why did they schedule the S. Africa Open for that week AFTER the Prez Cup dates had been set?
04.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterWillie
Fifth..Ernie unpopular? blasphemy...please expand
04.12.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjeff
Sixth. Spill the beans, Geoff!
04.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
Seventh- I love dirt, dish it Geoff!
04.12.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka

Preciously good choice of words jj.

Oh, so very very good
04.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeoffC
@Geoff -

Ignore my email! lol.

04.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiquidKaos
Well, we're waiting....
04.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJames H.
Well I hear the Scottish dont like Els.. seeing as hes going to be playing the Canadian Open this year instead.... or something.
04.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterM
New world order boys.
Did the Yanks boycott the Masters this year ? Don't think I saw any of them this year.
04.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLongy
@Longy: All but one apparently, and he was really hungry after he finished Sunday evening.
I join the masses in begging for an elaboration on the Els comment. The "company line", so to speak, always seems to be that he is universally beloved. Very curious to hear more.
04.13.2011 | Unregistered Commentergeorge
Geoff - I meant no disrespect nor impatience with the Judge Smails classic "Well, we're waiting"

Would like to know what's up with your comment.

Please elaborate as we all seem captivated and the regulars appear not to share that assessment of Mr.Els' relationships
04.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJames H.

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