Golf In A Plague Year May 18: Matches
The first live professional golf event since March ended in a playoff win for the team of Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.
In the TaylorMade Driving Relief charity skins match, McIlroy, Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff finished the 18th with six skins and $1.1 million still up for grabs. A closest to the pin contest from 125 yard settled the match a short time later. McIlroy just edged out Wolff on the final shot of the day.
In all, $5.5 million was raised, with funds benefitting the American Nurses’ Foundation and the CDC Foundation.
Before the match, I didn’t give much of a chance to the Fowler/Wolff team. McIlroy is the best player on the planet right now, and Johnson is a major winner. Fowler, while probably my favorite player on TOUR, just doesn’t have the pedigree. Wolff is a rookie.
Fowler and Wolff made a game of it, though. And in the end, I thought the show was enjoyable. The guys played in shorts and carried their own bags, giving the whole event a refreshing vibe. I’d love to see more of this sort of event — even after the coronavirus pandemic ends.
This week on the PGA TOUR, we’re missing the Charles Schwab Challenge at The Colonial in Fort Worth. A list of Charles Schwab Challenge winners is at the link.
The European Tour is absent the Made In Denmark at Himmerland Golf Resort and Spa. You can see the Made In Denmark winners here.
Finally, the LPGA would have played the Pure Silk Championship at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia. A list of Pure Silk Championship Winners is at the link.
That’s a lot to miss, but what we have to look forward to is The Match II: Tiger and Phil, joined by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. That contest, dubbed “The Match: Champions For Charity” will happen Sunday May 24. It will simulcast on TNT and TBS. As with the TaylorMade Driving Relief, funds will go to charity.
Maybe it’s time to bring back the old Shell Wonderful World of Golf.
Finally, there has been yet another victim of the plague: The Golf Channel Amateur Tour has permanently shut down.
From their notice:
As you are aware, the GOLF Am Tour made the difficult decision to cancel all local and regional major events (including the 2020 National and Senior National Championships) due to complications surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, we’ve now made the decision to permanently shut down the GOLF Am Tour effective immediately.
I wonder about the economics of that amateur “tour.” Perhaps it was never profitable and this was just the chance to kill it off. Maybe it was making money, but the loss of a summer would just have been too much.
In any case, I know a couple of guys who played that tour who are going to be disappointed.
But in every such loss there is an opportunity. Perhaps state PGA sections or golf associations could look into the possibility of creating their own amateur tours. The Michigan Golf Association hosts a number of “GAM Golf Days,” that involves a competitive component.