Rex Hoggard says that being on Tiger's pass list of tournaments doesn't equal a death sentence, pointing to creative, atmospheric events like at Scottsdale and Connecticut as prime examples of great tournaments making do.
“We would love to have Tiger and Phil,” said Nathan Grube, the Travelers Championship tournament director. “But we didn’t have Tiger and Phil last year and our charity dollars doubled. There are lot of different matrixes to measure success.”“The players will say it’s one of the best TPCs out there,” Grube said of TPC River Highlands.
Staking your claim to “one of the best TPCs out there,” is akin to being the most honest used-car salesman on the lot.
But you have to give Grube credit. In 1998, Pete Dye and Bobby Weed gave River Highlands an impressive nip and tuck, and officials further sweetened the pot with a 22-acre, state-of-the-art, $4.5 million practice facility. They had Vijay Singh at 22 acres.
The new and improved Travelers, which for nearly 40 years answered to the name Hartford Open, moved to a more family friendly slot on the calendar, treated the players who did show like kings and enjoyed what could arguably be 2007’s best Sunday shootout (between Hunter Mahan and Jay Williamson).
But maybe the best matrix to measure the Travelers’ success was at the turnstile, where ticket sales tripled in 2007.
The math is simple enough. If Woods continues to average 18 events per year, that means some 30 stops will enjoy something less than a must-see tee sheet.
The off-Broadway events can wave the “Where’s Woods?” flag like Vickers, or they can make lemonade out of their scheduling lemons, like Grube.