"Just came across the tracks.''

Doug Ferguson filed a follow up to the Vickers-Finchem press conference stories by going to the Commish so that he could rebut the Vickers post-press conference claims. (Wouldn't it have been easier if they were just honest when the mikes were on?)

The PGA Tour has narrowed it search to four cities to replace the International, and commissioner Tim Finchem said Friday that a return to Washington likely would be the first choice if all options were equal.

The other cities being considered for the Fourth of July spot on the schedule are Portland, Ore., Minneapolis and another market he declined to identify that "just came across the tracks.''

Nothing like a good railroad metaphor.

"When we get done and we're ready to prioritize, if all is about equal and Washington was one of them, we would probably prioritize Washington because we know it's a great time with the Fourth of July ... and it would be nice to have members of Congress involved.''

Why would it be nice to have members of Congress involved? Am I missing something?

Finchem said Congress has been supportive of The First Tee, a program aimed at getting kids involved with golf.

Uh huh.

"On the one hand, the Tour's asking for a new five- or six-year commitment and you've got a one-man show out there right now that is the big difference,'' Vickers said Thursday.

Finchem disagreed. He said if that were true, "we would have a schedule of 18 events.''

"That's just not the case,'' Finchem said. "When Tiger Woods plays, more people watch on TV and more tickets are sold. When he doesn't play, a lot of tickets are sold, a lot of money is raised for charity and our TV numbers are solid for the value of a sponsor.''

Uh huh.