More Criticism Of Western Change

Paul Azinger talking to Len Ziehm:

"The Western Open, are you kidding me?'' Azinger said during last week's John Deere Classic. "Some guys, like Sam Snead, have it as a major championship on their resumes.

"But the tour's not loyal to anybody. Players have no input at all, but what can we do? We can't be a union. We've just got to accept what they do. The players will make a little more money, but there's not a lot of loyalty in big-time sports now.''

Phil Kosin in Chicagoland Golf had this to say in a July issue:

How can the PGA Tour claim Chicago golf spectators will be better off if the tournament formerly known as the Western Open is rotated out of town every other year?

“We really don’t look at it as abandoning Chicago,” said PGA Tour chief financial officer Tom Wade. “We look at it as really upgrading and bringing a top-level world-class event to Chicago. I think it’s fair to say that the whole restructure of the PGA Tour with the FedEx Cup competition culminating in the new PGA Tour playoffs is the most important change we’ve ever made on the PGA Tour. We have big, big expectations and big plans for this.”

What a crock. I’m offended because the PGA Tour actually expects Chicago golf fans to buy this manure.

Why is the PGA Tour abandoning the nation’s third-largest market, golf-crazy Chicago, to take the event to smaller markets like St. Louis, Minneapolis and Indianapolis?
First, the Tour is still seeking a site in the Twin Cities area. We announced on our radio show two weeks ago that Hazeltine, which had been floated around as the third out-of-town site, had already told the Tour “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Maybe St. Louis and Indianapolis are golf-starved markets eagerly waiting to be tapped. But I remember vividly last September, while in Indy covering the Solheim Cup (the women’s version of the Ryder Cup) that the town’s big daily, the Indianapolis Star, did not even mention the event on its front page. Or in the first section of the paper. That’s a commitment to golf?