L.A. Times columnist T.J. Simers says he wanted to do one of his entertaining 24/7 column series where he follows a figure around and documents all. But he's claiming "PGA Tour officials" shot it down. I'm not sure I'm buying it, but here's what he claims:
I HAD plans to attend the Bob Hope Classic this week in the desert -- thinking maybe somebody should go.
It's a dying PGA tournament, as you know, and aren't they all when Tiger isn't playing?
This one is so far gone it's not on network TV this weekend, has none of the top 20 players in the world, and will be competing for attention here with the NFL, Lakers and UCLA taking on USC.
But I still thought it'd be fun to shadow the Hope's celebrity host, George Lopez, like I did Oscar De La Hoya before his last two fights, and like the week-long trip to Nebraska -- write four or five Page 2 diary columns on the Hope.
Lopez, proving he's willing to do almost anything for the Hope, agreed to make himself available 24/7, including parties, dinners and an invite to caddy for him Saturday.
PGA Tour officials, though, said Lopez didn't have the power to promote the Hope in such a manner, thereby killing the diary. The concern, of course, what happens if one of the golfers is seen wearing a lampshade at one of the parties? How would it look on Page 2 if I couldn't put a name to a face of one of their players?
It was a legitimate concern since the tour is now loaded with players who lack identity -- the exception being JohnDaly, who wouldn't draw a second look if he was wearing a lampshade, because that's John Daly.
The PGA Tour's idea of hyping the dying Hope was to make three players available for interviews Tuesday, and if I told you three of the six names here belong to golfers -- Lane Frost, Charley Hoffman, Billy Bishop, John Ware, Anthony Kim and RichardJohnson -- could you pick them out?
Hoffman is Hope's defending champ, and was joined in the interview tent by Kim and Johnson. The other three names belong to men who really are dead.