Steve Elling talks to several folks who are disappointed with the PGA Tour's abandonment of the designated tournament policy that had been in the works, including a tournament director who was not afraid of becoming designated.
After indicating earlier this year that the proposal seemed destined for passage, the tour has yet to formally explain its rationale for shooting down a notion that had been green-lighted by the Players Advisory Committee five months ago with, "really, zero negativity," Steve Stricker said at the time.
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem all but guaranteed that the idea, designed to force top players to visit locales they hadn't played in years, if ever, would be added to the books in some form in 2011. Now it's morphed into a voluntary plan, which will be about as effective as you might expect.
I think the real giveaway is in this quote from Davis Love.
"Right now, we don't really need any controversy. We need things to keep moving along, because we have a TV contract coming along and everything is really going pretty well. When you look at our business vs. every other business in the country, we are really, really good."
I guess we'll find out this year just how good things are. I find it hard to believe that the PGA Tour is happy to rest on its laurels and sees no need to improve their position with the networks and fans. Or at least, is trying to give that impression to enhance their bargaining position.
Bob Harig also talks to a few people about the policy and notes this:
One problem that was not resolved was spreading out the top players among the designated events.
What if a designated event was not chosen by anyone? That certainly would have looked bad.
Then again, wasn't there a solution of some kind to be worked out, one that would be better than doing nothing at all?
**Garry Smits says "this was a 2-foot gimmee putt. And you just lipped it out."
Let's put it this way: if a method isn't found for more of the top players to play in just one or two more events a year, the problem will take care of itself. Some of those events may simply have to fold.
And that will hurt the rank-and-file of Tour players who do support those tournaments, by subtracting playing opportunities; to say nothing of the economic impact and charitable dollars realized in those communities as a result of the Tour stop.