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Finchem: “By every measure...strongest Presidents Cup we've had"

No one can do anything about the Columbus weather (well, not now), but it's still fun in an agonizing kind of way to watch the gone-indoors Closing Funeral, assuming you want 10 minutes of your life to go by the wayside. (And that's without the planned entertainment.)

Robert Lusetich
takes issue with Commissioner Samaranch's post Rainforest Cup assessment that this was the best one yet by "every mea$ure."

Indeed, he sounded like the old Franco blackshirt Juan Antonio Samaranch, the Spanish Don who ran the International Olympic Committee for 21 years and rolled out “the best ever” after each Olympics, even the lamentable Atlanta Games.

“By every measure, this was the strongest Presidents Cup we've had,” Finchem went on.

By any measure, it was the weakest.

If the weather was abysmal throughout, the planning was worse.

When the rain created chaos of the schedule the PGA Tour — stubbornly refusing to move up Friday’s 1:10 p.m. ET starting times — just made it up as they went along.

It was as Junior Varsity as it gets.

Not that the golf was bad, especially from golfers who had to pile into buses at 4.30 in the morning on Saturday and Sunday.

Just like the Atlanta Olympics were saved by Muhammad Ali’s poignant climb, and Michael Johnson’s fast shoes and Amy Van Dyken’s four swimming gold medals, it was the athletes who put the lipstick on this pig.

Lusetich goes on to lament the Cup's future as long as Finchem is in charge.

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Reader Comments (25)

First of all Samaranch did not use "best ever" after Atlanta Olympics. Talking about a Junior Varsity reporting Lusetich. Samaranch said "well done" and his withholding of the phrase "best ever" was a big story.

Secondly, to use the term "not bad" to describe the golf is woefully inaccurate, there was great play on both side in some trying conditions. But, analysis of the play is subjective the Samaranch thing is fact. JV reporting at best.
Why would I care what time they have to get on the bus? Not my problem. I couldn't care less where they present the cup to Freddie. I really don't care how the pcup compares to the Ryder cup. There were really good golf matches on TV. Great golf shots. I bet the pgatour makes tons of money. Maybe not as much as the Ryder cup, but much more than they would without the pcup. Regular folks don't care about the same things writers care about. Surprised lusetich didn't complain about his hotel room or rental car.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoe
After all the bashing, surprised Mr. Shackelford hasn't commented on Mr. Nicklaus shameless on camera pimp job for his golf course in Korea hosting Pres. Cup in 2015. Nicklaus to Dan Hicks: "the golf course is nearly 100% land fill...the skyline was constructed to look like New York City"
10.7.2013 | Unregistered Commentertour caddy 60
I wouldn't know of the quality of the President's Cup. You see, it was televised on a 3 hour delay on the west coast, meaning I knew what had happened when it was being televised. Would I have watched had it been live? Not 100% of it, but I would've flipped over there occasionally to see what was happening.
In 2013, with the proliferation of social media & bottom line tickers showing results of everything going on, you can not expect to delay a broadcast and expect anyone to watch. It takes too much effort to avoid finding out what happened.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob
What? OK, I am dubious about holding such an important international golf event in the US in the middle of the march to the World Series and the 5th week of College/NFL football season. Overexposure will eventually have untoward effects. But, "strongest..." After Royal Melbourne, a course that had most of us captivated from the first moment it appeared on the tv machine, a course a vanishingly small number of us will ever see? For a course we have seen every year for the past 37? Nice and all that, I'm sure, rain or no rain. But if Tim wants to have people other than the diehards among our happy band of brothers and sisters tune in and watch, how about Pacific Dunes? Seminole? Pine Valley? Some significant fraction of us will eventually see Pacific Dunes. The others, not so much. But we would watch them on tv even if the golf left something to the imagination. And yeah, I know neither PV nor Seminole would be interested, but there are others just as alluring that might.

And BTW Franco's fascist prick said "most exceptional" IIRC.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Klg: no snark, I am prepared to believe the temporary composite course at royal Melbourne is one of the ten greatest in the world. But the pcup golf at RM was deadly dull because the greens were so fast and slopey. Everyone had to hit away from the hole and and play super defensively. Guys were trying to hold their mud and play for par. Great course, lousy venue.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoe
Ky, you are right, he said "well done" and "most exceptional", everyone knew it was a slap in the face. Except, of course, Lusetich.
Ok, so by what measurement criteria would this year's cup be worse than Australia ?

1. Tickets sold at the gate. Don't know that, but there sure were alot of people there at MV.
2. TV ratings ? Hard to say due to the time differences and tape delay both years.
3. Competitive balance ? I'd say about the same - it was 13-9 going into the singles, US ahead, Int'l looking for a miracle.
4. Getting the Top players in the game ? - 2013 probably wins that 7 of top 10 were here, in 2011 6 were, but it was # 5-10, while this yera it is 1-3 and then 7-10. Btw, the repeats from both years sort of surprising: Stricker, Scott, and Kuchar. No Tiger and no Phil.
We don''t know lots of things such as sponsorship support, ect. (Although lots of ads from CME Group, they are a sponsor on the LPGA, wouldn't be surprised to see them do a tournament in the US based on their big footprint this week). The weather was very bad. In Australia, it was good. Also the course in Oz was superior, but a hard and fast MV with fall foilage kicking in would have been a pretty nice course/setting. On the other hand, the time zone issue in the US for 2011 event was severe. So while it may have been optimistic corporate talk to say it has gotten better, it is certainly hard to say that it was worse than 2011, and I think it is absolutely true that the event in general has had an upwards trajectory (nice TW word) over the past decade.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
golf is about the only sport I will watch on TV, I could not care less about this event, After all 4 majors and even the Fed Up Cup Race. I am done for the year with televised golf. On the other hand coming here daily is entertaining.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered Commentervwgolfer
Lift, clean and cheat
10.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterclashman

Everyone didn't have to hit away from the hole at Royal Melbourne. Those who hit away from the hole generally did so because they had driven to the wrong part of the fairway.

I do agree though that the greens were too fast. There is an obsession in Melbourne with crazy speed and it is lead by RM.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike Clayton
I hope to outlive the era of sporting events having official hash tags
10.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJosh
Wait a sec.... were the Atlanta Olympics THAT bad!?!?
Very simple guys....if you don't like it don't watch it.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStanley Thompson
Stanley, m'lad, we criticize to prod improvement. This is the last bunch that will stick its head in the sand.

And yes, Samaranch called the Atlanta Games "exceptional, very exceptional" and only that.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGolden Bell
Poorly run event from a spectator's perspective. Then again the overzeolous Memorial marshals weren't there to F things up. I'm glad I got free tickets. I wouldn't attend The Memorial if it were run this poorly. Spectators had to be bused with a mind boggling detour instead of parking onsite as is the case during The Memorial.

I bet Jack hated the scent of hamburgers and hot dogs wafing through the air!
10.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike
Michael, I remember many players aiming way away from the hole from the middle of the fairway. And putting took FOREVER because they always seemed to have 3 1/2 feet to par to halve the hole. A complete grindfest.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoe
@joe seems to like approach shots plugging like darts.

I personally think that hardly how the game was intended. Most of the players in the top 500 OWGR can stuff it close in those conditions. Too me that has no value in terms of entertainment.

Combining the conditions with the lack of RC-type buzz, the event was one of the least compelling of the year.

As an aside, a few months ago Nicklaus was promoting some "introduction type" of golf called Snollf or Snorg or whatever with velcro balls and greens. What little I saw of the Presidents Cup reminded me of that.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
At Royal Melbourne, the middle of the fairway can often be the worst place to play from. The strategic principle is usually to drive as close as possible to the hazard(s) to find the best line of attack. And the best line of attack varies from day to day depending on the location of the hole.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Blunt
George, not in any way disputing how great RM is, just saying that pcup was hard to watch because the greens were so fast and the best players in the world played very very defensively. They played not to lose.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoe
The Presidents Cup has issues: Doug successfully (shockingly - not) discusses the situation and offers reasoned suggestions. Lusetich comes off looking like a bore and clown, and in doing so hurts his own case.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
The golf was exceptionally good, and this Lusetich guy bemoans the weather & the closing ceremony instead. What? The storms were scattered and unpredictable, so it wasn't the easiest to plan around, yet they still managed to get all the golf completed relatively early on Sun. How was that "JV planning"? Obviously it's nobody's fault that a lingering nasty weather pattern fell on Columbus (of course it cleared out of there immediately after the event ended, and it's supposed to be sunny for the entire next week). The players made the best of it and played great, and the spectators were still very vocal and supportive. I saw plenty of people sitting quite contently in wet grass to watch great golf, while this whiny writer probably sat in the media center all day and missed a lot of quality play.

And has he never heard of 7 AM tee times before? It's not that weird to get up at 4 or 5 AM. If you go to bed a little earlier (and not stay at the hotel bar all night which a few people do), you'll be okay. Writers complain about the weirdest things.

And they could let the host tour call all the shots they want, but at the end of the day, if the American team has higher world rankings and more talent, they will be the favorites no matter what the format is. Even so, at this event, the golf on both sides was quite good and it was a hard-fought competition. The US team didn't get many "easy" points and played very well to win.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenney
Both writers make the right point: Finchem can't be the captain of both teams. He need to relinquish control of the International team. The PCup doesn't really know what it is - other than a PGA Tour event.
10.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAK47
Ak47: basically, the pcup IS a PGA tour event. Almost all of the players live in the us and play the PGA. tour. Jason day is a MEMBER at mvcc for goodness sakes. One or two newbies get brought along. But this is of, by and for the pga tour. Why would timmy share with the moribund tours elsewhere? Frankly, it is anachronistic for the PGA of America to control the Ryder cup.
10.8.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoe
On top of all the reasons that have already been listed, this was a very poorly planned even for the fans. Officials were boasting about the fact that they sold 35,000 tickets each day, yet they had patrons parking in the grass areas near the Columbus zoo, waiting 30-75 minutes for shuttles (yellow school buses!)which took an out of the way route that took 25 minutes to reach the entrance, where there were more lines of people waiting to be admitted to the grounds. When the rains came, the grassy areas being used for parking became unusable and patrons were instructed to proceed to alternate parking lots 10-15 minutes away from the zoo. No emails were sent notifying patrons of the change in tee times or parking arrangements. The Ryder cup at Oakland Hills by comparison, ran like a well oiled machine.
10.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMIke

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