Justin Rose was the first to voice concern about the spacing of golf’s majors, and now Rory McIlroy wisely left the country before suggesting he agrees with Rose’s concerns.
Nick Menta reports on McIlroy’s pre-Omega Masters press conference where the comment was made.
“If they are spaced so closely together will fans only care from the second week of April to the third week in July?” he added to the BBC. “I’d like to see them spaced out like tennis does. With the Australian Open in January and the US Open going on now, they’ve a nice nine-month window of relevancy.”
To now have two of the top players in the world essentially declaring the new schedule not working—and two players who think long and hard before they speak—the new tighter schedule is showing signs of cracks before the PGA Tour enters television contract negotiations that will lock in the schedule for a decade or more.
Rose felt the time to reset between majors wasn’t long enough, while McIlroy may feel that way as well, but his primary point that golf is truncating the main focus of fans would suggest he agrees that surrounding events have no been strengthened, nor is there a sense that it works for players.
Both players were not reared on American football, so their interest in the American sports viewing calendar is not high.
I’m not sure what the tipping point is, but if more top players suggest that new schedule is dysfunctional, will there be a reconsideration of he calendar going forward? Golf certainly can’t spread out to a nine-month window due to available daylight, unless it moved the PGA Championship on occasion to Australia or Asia in January or February. But an expansion back to April to August would restore at least some of the spacing. Developing…