Chris Lewis at SI.com points out that there is still a lot of great golf to be watched, which, amidst all of the schedule-reduction talk might make one wonder if this is more of a statement about the PGA Tour. After all, there are two tournaments this week I'd actually like to watch (Casio and Australia), yet the big names are at the Grand Slam and Skins (double yawn).
Part of the allure with Japan is the Michelle Wie quest-to-make-a-cut-thing, but in both cases, there is something nice about getting to see golf in another part of the world. To see how people dress, how the players behave, how the grass is maintained, etc... The PGA Tour is a bit too repetitive week to week. Same setups, similar architecture, same comments from announcers (excluding Faldo-Azinger weeks).
And as Lewis points out, Q-School is next week, which has an entirely different feel to it.
Though I feel a bit slimy watching Q-School, believing that it's something that should be done behind closed doors. Like child birth.