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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 165
NOW that the 2014-15 PGA Tour season is complete, it’s worth having a look at what could be done to make the world’s biggest Tour better. The man pulling the strings is, of course, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, whose current four-year contract as the el supremo runs out in June 2016. Will he stay or will he go? Given his salary – reportedly about $5 million ¬– there is every chance he’ll stick around. But, if he happened to want a day off at some stage, I’d be more than happy to sit in the chair at the Ponte Vedra Beach headquarters for 24 hours. I’d even do it for a complimentary tee time at TPC Sawgrass. Finchem’s best work, in my opinion, was the PGA Tour’s latest broadcast deals, which were negotiated in 2011 with a US economy ailing and its star player Tiger Woods in the early stages of decline. Finchem managed to extend the deals by nine years for more than $500 million a year. Impressive. However, the PGA Tour could be better – better for the players, better for those investing in tournaments and better for the game worldwide. So if I could park my butt in the chair for 24 hours I’d like to propose th following: • A SHORTER PGA TOUR SEASON. Working on the ideal that less is more, I’d shorten the Tour from the current 51 weeks to 33 weeks. The 51-week wraparound season, which began on October 9 last year, needs to be scrapped. Here’s why. Of the top-30 players on PGA Tour money list, only five played 30 or more events. In fact, of those 30 players the average number of tournaments played was just under 25, meaning for half of the season the best players on the PGA Tour were sitting at home. Kiwi Danny Lee played 36 tournaments, more than any other player this season. ‘My Tour’ would start the first week of February and run 33 consecutive weeks through to the end of September. This shorter season would see the best players in the game go head-to-head more often. For example, Jordan Spieth played 25 events this season and – with the exception of the two he played at the end of 2014 – first teed it up in this calendar year in the first week of February, and ended his year 23 events later at the TOUR Championship. If the season was 33 weeks long, players like Spieth, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Co. would be in the field more often. Even if they played just 20 events, that’s still far more than the 50 per cent they currently play. • OCTOBER QUALIFYING SCHOOL. With the PGA Tour wrapping up at the end of September, October would be devoted to Qualifying School stages. With Stage One being played at various venues in the first week, players going through would tee it up the following week before Final Stage is conducted, after a week off, in the final week of October. • WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS HIT THE ROAD. The WGC events will hit the road more often. Even if just one – perhaps the Cadillac Championship – would be played outside the US every year. With these changes made, I would stick my feet on Tim’s desk, order a coffee and contemplate how I’d tackle the 17th at Sawgrass. OTG the VIEW "IF I WAS TIM FINCHEM FOR A DAY..." GOLF AUSTRALIA EDITOR BRENDAN JAMES CONTEMPLATES WHAT HE'D DO IF IN CHARGE OF THE PGA TOUR FOR 24 HOURS. by Brendan James Golf Australia editor Awarded #1 Overall Winner in the ‘2015 MyGolfSpy Most Wanted Driver Awards’ # 1 MOST WANTED DRIVER 2015 LEARN MORE
OTG Express 164
OTG Express 166