Task Force Founder Bishop: Phil Pulling The Strings

Ted Bishop debuts as a guest columnist for Golf Magazine's weekly digital offering and while I can't link to the piece this golf.com summary will have to do. **Link added at golf.com.

It's worth checking out what the former PGA President has to say about the task force he envisioned (but did not end up participating in).

Bishop, in an entertaining bit of behind-the-scenes dishing, asserts that a majority of the task force wanted Fred Couples but that Mickelson, like an Iowa caucus-goer, steered the lemmings toward his choice: Davis Love.

"It’s clear that Mickelson controlled the tenor of the task-force meetings. Last week, when a reporter asked Love how he evolved from a task-force member to captain, Phil practically knocked down Davis to grab the microphone. Mickelson was quick to point out that Love had not lobbied for the job. He said Davis sees the big picture, has the experience and is a perfect fit. He also acknowledged that Love had made mistakes at Medinah and that he had learned from those mistakes. Phil capped his remarks by saying, “Davis will put us in a position to succeed rather than create obstacles to overcome.” Phil was clearly taking another shot at Watson."

Meanwhile, the AP's Doug Ferguson takes Mickelson, Tim Finchem and the task force to, gulp, task, for potentially killing the fall PGA Tour events that draw Big Break ratings (or worse) and haven't been well attended by top-ranked players. Ferguson says the task force should have made the "health of the tour" their "first priority" but instead of left the fall four exposed to one Billy Payne decision from total irrelevance.

What's to keep Augusta National from following suit and no longer offering a spot in the Masters to winner? And if those tournaments go away, does the PGA Tour become even more of a closed shop and a time when it's hard to keep track of all the promising young Americans?

Most disappointing is the silence of PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, except to commend the PGA of America for including his players in the process. It was just over a year ago that Finchem and former PGA president Ted Bishop shared the stage and boasted of a new era of cooperation between the two organizations.