All longtime golf fans are grateful to Charles Schwab for rescuing the Colonial, even if it meant wiping the club’s name off the iconic title in favor of the forgettable Charles Schwab Challenge. Then again, had they left Colonial in the title, we’d all still just call it the Colonial. And may still.
But the longtime supporter of golf might be scratching his head a bit after year one of a four year deal even after a perfectly normal PGA Tour event. A fascinating mix of leaders were extinguished by Kevin Na’s closing 66 only to have Na immediately give away quite possibly the most clever winner gift in some time: a restored Dodge Challenger. Mike McAllister reports for PGATour.com.
Granted, Na did pledge before the tournament started to gift the car to Harms, who deserves more than an iconic American sports car for carrying Na’s bag(gage):
But the keys handoff did lead to that gloriously awkward winner’s photo with the car, Harms, Schwab and Na, along with a tournament official in the back left expressing only minor agony.
Adding to the awkwardness of the day: a subdued CBS telecast marked by multiple shots from the clouds (aka blimp), the dreaded bereavement track, and tributes to legends lost like Dan Jenkins, Bart Starr, etc. Still, the general somberness became more apparent when Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo were shown at the 18th before a tribute to “retiring” CBS workers was shown.
The tribute was quite touching, with Nantz refusing to sugarcoat the situation while Faldo’s eyes watered and turned red as they discussed the role of the many talented craftspeople losing their jobs. Excuse me, retiring. In mass. All in the same week.
As they introduced the primary crew members and some of the great moments covered or lengthy tenures, it was obviously a huge blow to the CBS Sports team.
While words like retirement and voluntary were bandied about, we all know what this is about, as telegraphed a couple of months ago:
Cost cutting moves: CBS is looking for about $100 million in cost savings in the next three years from belt-tightening and restructuring in search of greater efficiencies. That process could lead to streamlining of redundant operations and voluntary employee buyouts. “We reorganizing and thinking about functions that go across multiple divisions,” Ianniello said.
If it were any other corporate leader than Schwab—who has seen just about everything in golf—I’m guessing phone calls would be made, inquiries made and questions asked about so many layoffs in the midst of the golf season—with a mid-telecast tribute—and at a time the CBS schedule is at full force.
So Chuck probably won’t have to talk to Chuck. But if he were miffed at how year one played out, no one would blame him.