Finchem, Bivens Endure A Tough Year

Secretary of State Condi Rice has said on numerous occasions that her dream job would be to be comissioner of the NFL.

The GolfBlogger’s dream job—naturally—is to be commission of the PGA Tour.

She is, of course, much closer to her dream job than I am to mine.

But given that I’m always looking for an opening, I read with interest this article from ESPN on the difficulties that PGA Tour Comissioner Tim Finchem and LPGA Comissioner Carolyn Bivens have had this year.

For Finchem, there have been the problems with the planning for the FedEx Cup, the reshuffling of the Tour schedule—which has resulted in the ending of some venerable events such as the Western Open, and steroid testing. Bivens has faced issues revolving around angering the media, a rebellion among LPGA staff and alienating long-standing supporters of the Tour.

Not a good year for either of them.

I hereby offer myself as a replacement.

If selected as PGA Tour Commissioner, I would cancel the dadburned FedEx Cup. Golf doesn’t need to be NASCAR.

I’d reduce by eight the total number of events and then insist that players play in half of them. Baseball players play 162 games a year. NFL Players play 16. Golfers can play in an average of one event every two weeks for 40 weeks.

If Tiger and Phil don’t like it, they can quit the Tour and try to make it on sponsors exemptions. I’m pretty sure Nike and Callaway wouldn’t like it, though.

Players would be required to play in each event at least once every three years. That would end the cherry picking—players only entering those events where the layout or atmosphere seemingly offer an advantage. The supporters and fans at “lesser” events would then get the pleasure of watching the big names at least once every three years.

Unless physically injured with a doctors’ note, players would be required to play in all PGA Tour title events, such as the Tour Championship. Failure to do so would be punished with a hefty fine that would go to help pay for the retirements of older, indigent pros.

I would immediately restore the Western Open (BMW—or whoever the new title sponsor is—can just have one of those Western Open sponsored by titles) and leave it permanently in Chicago where it belongs. The Western was once considered a “major”—and should stand on its own.

All slots on the Ryder Cup Team would be Captain’s Picks—no more more points system.

The number of players receiving an automatic tour card each year would be reduced from 125 to 90. That ought to make it more exciting by lighting a fire under the butts of some of those guys who are content to finish 30th+ in every tournament. The number of spots available at Q school and for battlefield promotions from the Nationwide would be correspondingly increased.

Some of those hangers-on who are keeping the young and hungry players out can just go to working teaching putting to blue haired ladies at the Country Clubs. The fans don’t need to watch players who just occupying tee times. They deserve to see players who want to WIN.

And for publicity’s sake alone, I would institute immediate steroid testing. The last thing the Tour needs is to have some publicity hound Congressman issue a subpoena to Tiger, Furyk and several other PGA Tour stars. Imagine the spectacle of having these guys grilled by Ted Kennedy and other self-righteous do-gooders.


(Can you tell I’m tired and cranky tonight?)

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