Doug Ferguson complete mi$$es the point in suggesting the USGA's hypocrisy in demanding an 18-hole playoff for men vs. a 3-holer for the women.
Several years ago, some pointed the discrimination finger at the USGA for offering more prize money to the men than the women.David Fay, saying one thing and doing something else? No, can't be the same David Fay!
Fay's argument then was not politically soothing, but entirely accurate – this is the entertainment business, and the U.S. Open brings in higher TV ratings and far greater revenue. The real discrimination at the time was that the USGA only required an 18-hole qualifier for the Women's Open, whereas the men faced 18-hole local qualifying and 36-hole sectional qualifying.
It was patronizing to the women, and keeping a separate playoff format for the men is no different.
“We concluded that we wanted to have the Women's Open, if at all possible, finishing on a Sunday,” Fay said. “If you're asking why don't we have that for the men, for the U.S. Open, we're not there. We're viewing them differently at his point.”
Purists might argue that an 18-hole playoff is the fairest method to break a tie.
But if that's the case, why not make it 36 holes? That's the way it used to be, and in the 1931 U.S. Open when Billy Burke and George Von Elm were tied again after a 36-hole playoff, they played 36 more holes the next day before Burke won by a single shot.
The hypocrisy can be found in white circles around most greens at the USGA's biggest tournaments.
Those are drop zones, and they were designed to provide automatic relief from a shot being interfered by grandstands or leaderboards. Fay said such “temporary immovable obstructions” are part of big-time golf, and the drop zones simply speed up play.
Guess what? Television interest, sellouts that bring 40,000 fans to the course, thousands of volunteers who have to get back to work and corporate hospitality also are part of “big-time golf.”You see Doug, a three-hole playoff would mean scheduling the Open to tee off earlier just in case those three holes are needed. And when they dont need a playoff, then the telecast is finished at say, 6 EST time instead of 7:30 EST.
Everyone wants to see a winner Sunday, and three extra holes are ample.
How, in God's name, can the U.S. Open ending that early fulfill it's primary mission to provide a strong lead in for a Dateline rerun?
Get your priorities straight Ferguson! It's all about the lead-in, and don't you forget it.