PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem was his typical charismatic self discussing the state of the tour, so much so that even Pope Francis got in a nice siesta listening in on the state of the tour press conference.
Perhaps the buried lede in this was noted by Rex Hoggard at GolfChannel.com: Commissioner Likes To Make People Retire At 60 may be staying on beyond next year.
“That decision isn’t really too hinged on the general flow of how we are doing,” Finchem said. “We have two or three projects here on the horizon and it’s more of a question of how far into those projects I want to stick with it?”
The policy board would have to approve any extension to Finchem’s contract and that group only has one meeting remaining this year.
“We’ll work through it the first half of next year,” Finchem said.
Tournament directors, don't order those going away rocking chairs made of recycled golf tees just yet!
Jim McCabe on the Commissioner's bold, borderline IOC-meets-Donald Trump rosy assessment of the year, with no disrespect meant to Tiger, Phil and friends.
“I think this is, in many ways, our strongest year,” he said. “It really is interesting when you look at the players who are here this week and their ages and what’s happened.”
Beyond the players, Finchem expressed a bullishness for having more than 60 percent of sponsors signed on for five years or more, that “PGA Tour Live” has been launched and for the continued health of the FedEx Cup playoffs. “I’ve never been more excited for the future,” Finchem said.
And we can just feel it oozing through the screen!
Larry Fine of Reuters focused on Finchem's upbeat take on TV ratings.
Finchem said television ratings illustrated the impact of the rise of the new wave.
"Our broadcast numbers are up over 20 percent over the previous year, which is a stunning increase and has to do with the number of playoffs, the attractiveness of the players who are competing and winning," said Finchem.
"And all that adds up to us being very bullish as we look forward to the next four or five years."
While it's nice to see an uptick, these merely restored 2012 levels.
As for the whole player of the year vote as FedExCup referendum, Finchem was prepared with a solid enough answer, notes Steve Elling.
“When we started the FedEx Cup, it wasn’t designed to compete with major championships,” he said. “We support 100 percent what the major championships are, what they have always stood for. They’re a great part of the game. But on the other hand, [the FedEx] was to give more balance to what the season means. And that it means a lot.
“I think the players have responded to that in terms of who wins the ballot. It’s always interesting to see how those things go. But I think certainly when you win multiple majors, it puts you in a very strong position for consideration.
“On the other hand, there’s some very interesting dynamics that are going on right now as we go into this week. So, the players are going to vote and whatever they say is who will win the player of the year award.”
Finchem gave no indication of any FedExCup tweaks, including a possible date rearrangement down the road, notes ESPN.com's Bob Harig.