Taking The Tour To Task

John Huggan in the Scotsman takes the PGA Tour behind the woodshed for a whipping. The FedEx Cup, he says, is nonsense.

Such nonsense, of course, is merely the latest attempt by commissioner Tim Finchem to set a place for himself at golf’s top table, where sit the Masters, run by the Augusta National Golf Club; the US Open (United States Golf Association), the Open (Royal & Ancient Golf Club), the USPGA (PGA of America) and the Ryder Cup (PGA of America and European Tour). The world’s biggest and richest circuit, the PGA Tour, has long been driven crazy by its almost total lack of influence over any of the game’s five most important and lucrative events.

Which is why the Presidents Cup matches, a glorified exhibition between a 12-man team from the US and another drawn from anywhere and everywhere except Europe, exists. Ticked-off Tim wants to be the centre of attention.

Sadly for his sizeable ego, however, the Fed-Ex Cup has just about the same level of (in)credibility as does the transparently tacky PC, a biennial affair that is but a pale imitation of the Ryder Cup.

Devised largely as a means of getting the too-often absent Woods to play more PGA Tour events, the Fed-Ex Cup overflowed as soon as he, citing “fatigue” (yeah, right Tiger), decided not to play in the first of the four play-off events, the Barclays Classic, that concludes today.

At a stroke, the absence of the tour’s biggest asset, a man who plays for history rather than cash, revealed the whole sordid affair as nothing more than the money-grabbing farce that it is, a fact underlined by the much-ballyhooed $10m first prize – which is payable only when the recipient decides to retire, according to the very small print.

He’s absolutely right, of course.

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1 thought on “Taking The Tour To Task”

  1. Let’s deconstruct the madness of King John. First off, just who plays in The Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open, the PGA Championship, and the Ryder Cup? Professional golfers, that’s who, a majority of whom make their livings and reputations on the U.S. PGA Tour. No place at “golf’s top table?” The U.S. PGA Tour built the table. Remove PGA players from these events and what have you got? Indeed, it’s the organizations behind these events who leech off of the PGA Tour’s product when it comes to promoting them, not vice versa.

    Second, does Huggans really believe his sainted Woods is not motivated by money? Woods, the kid who signed a multi-million dollar endorsement contract with Nike before playing in any events as a professional? Woods, the golfer who regularly accepts appearance fees from the royalty of the Middle East? Woods, who once sued an artist for painting his portrait and, gasp, trying to sell it for dinner money? And if the FedEx Cup, according to Huggans, has the same credibility as the Presidents Cup—in his opinion, none—then why does Mr. He’s-Playing-For-History play in it? If Huggans were being honest with himself, he’d recognize Woods’s absence for what it is—Woods’s realization that he could draw himself a bye on the first round. Let’s face it, if Woods weren’t interested in this event, he wouldn’t be playing this week in Massachusetts.

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