I almost called this post “A European Take On The New PGA Tour Deal,” but then I wondered if Scots considered themselves European. So I bailed on that one and renamed it.
At any rate, the Scotsman has a column on the PGA Tour’s new deal, and its implications for the European Tour.
It it stating the obvious to say that the Scots don’t see American sports as we do?
Even with the world’s most famous sportsman – Tiger Woods – as part of the package, professional golf in the fall cannot come close to competing with the NFL and NASCAR for the ever-shortening attention of America’s increasingly overweight and couch-ridden populace. Watching enormous men in silly uniforms running into each other to no obvious purpose, or logo-festooned cars going round and round in seemingly endless circles apparently holds more appeal than the sight of Tiger majestically ripping a drive down the middle.
But then they’ve hit the nail on the head haven’t they. The Tour’s problem IS linked to the overwhelming poularity of the NFL, and of college football. They also left out the bit about ridiculiously tall men tossing balls into a peach basket in the spring.
So for the European Tour, it’s apparently a mixed blessing. The Scotsman points out that after the Tour Championship, there will still be six weeks left on the European Tour—where PGA Tour players could line their pockets with appearance fees.
But then, the Players’ Championship now is scheduled at the same time as the European Tour’s traditional return to Britain, and will conflict with the British Masters.
And the Scotsman sees more sinister things in store:
Should the new schedule prove to be a success for the Americans, Finchem will almost certainly turn his attention to those parts of the season dominated by the European Tour. It would come as no surprise to this reporter if, say five years from now, the smarmy Finchem smile was the backdrop to an announcement of PGA Tour-approved co-sanctioned autumn events in parts of the world west of Los Angeles and east of New York.
What, one wonders, would the European Tour do then? Are there any courses in Antarctica?