Started the day of with a nice warm chuckle courtesy of
Doug Ferguson AP's Jeff Gold quoting Ty Votaw on the Westchester situation:
A tour spokesman insisted Monday a final decision had not been made.Premature to about 40 people in Ponte Vedra!
``I would say that no decision has been made to terminate our agreement with Westchester,'' tour spokesman Ty Votaw said, adding talks with Westchester are continuing. ``Those discussions may or may not result in a joint decision to keep The Barclays at Westchester.''
Reports that the 2008 edition would be moved to Ridgewood were ``premature,'' Votaw said.
Meanwhile Sam Weinman is full of great points in this post-mortem on the prematurely reporting:
The B.C. Open. The International. The Kemper Open. All three were tournaments that didn't fit into Woods' schedule. All three have since disappeared from the schedule.
"This is a factor with a lot of tour events. They all want him as a competitor because he brings crowds, he brings attention, and he obviously brings ratings," said Neal Pilson, a Chappaqua resident and former president of CBS Sports who now has a private consulting business. "Tiger has a greater singular influence on golf than anyone in the era of television, and that includes Jack Nicklaus or Tom Watson or Greg Norman. He's a phenomenon unto himself."
Granted, The Barclays scenario would not be one of a tournament disbanding, but a tournament simply looking to relocate from its longtime home. For the people who have long considered this tournament their own, though, it might as well be the same thing.
What's interesting to note is that if The Barclays remained in its customary June spot either before or after the U.S. Open, much of this would have been avoided. There still might not be any Woods, but the set-up time in the quiet spring months wouldn't be such a point of contention.
Throw in the problems with the Western and now this, and it really is remarkable how much turmoil these little playoffs have created...off the course.