Blame Mercedes Championships yawner on PGA Tour boss Tim Finchem
For all the criticism Bud Selig receives – and deservedly so – he’s no longer the worst commissioner in sports. Just days into the new year, PGA Tour boss Tim Finchem has successfully wrested away the title.
In no other major sport does opening day receive as little attention as the Tour’s Mercedes Championships, which ranks right below the Meineke Bowl on your average fan’s winter radar. Tim McDonald and Chris Baldwin have already bashed the Mercedes, but they haven’t assessed enough blame. Why don’t Mickelson, Tiger and others even care about their season opener? Because nobody calls them on it. Can you imagine the uproar if Alex Rodriguez decided to skip the Yankees’ season opener? I’m guessing Steinbrenner wouldn’t push it aside by saying, “Well, it’s one of those things…”
Yet that’s exactly what Finchem told USA Today this week when asked about Tiger’s absence. Talk about the differences between golf and baseball all you want, but it just looks bad when your two marquee players don’t show up for your season opener. And then what happens? Your opening tournament is banished to page six on sports pages across the country, and you’ve missed a golden opportunity to start the season off with a bang. For whatever reason, the Tour puts about as much promotional muscle behind the Mercedes as it does for the Southern Farm Bureau Classic.
Granted, the Mercedes would’ve been in tough against the NFL playoffs this week, even with Tiger. All the more reason we should be blaming Finchem, who should maybe consider the entire sports calendar before scheduling his season opener. Guaranteed, the LPGA season opener in February gets more press than the Mercedes does this weekend. Credit Ty Votaw for that.
Of course, Finchem is quick to remind us next year will be better. Forget that this season has plenty of good storylines. He’d much rather talk about next year’s schedule or the FedEx Cup points competition, even though he doesn’t really have any details on any of it yet. In that same USA Today interview, Finchem went so far as to call this season “a lame-duck year” for the Tour, which certainly explains Tiger’s absence this week, but does nothing to excite the occasional golf fan about this year’s Tour season.
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I addition, they are expecting the largest gallery ever to witness a golf event in Hawaii.
I wonder if they are all coming to see Vijay defend his title?
Nah, they will be there to see the Home Girl.
Where is that damn edit button?
I attended the Mercedes Championships as a Mercedes Guest. It was a fun Tournament and the fact the it is restricted to the previous years winners is great. It is unlike any other Tournament because it is small and one can spend time with the players off the course at the Hotel. NO ONE missed Michelle and if she ever wins a PGA Tournament (not likely) she would be welcome.
The only notable player who has skipped frequently has been Phil and it is a shame but one hopes he will return next year. Tiger has been there for many years but this year was an exception for various reasons that are personal. He has already said he will be there next year.
I do believe that the previous year winners have a resposibility to play in the Mercedes and it is disrespectful to the sponsor and fans to skip it without a very good reason.
I also attended the Sony this year and watched Michelle miss many putts and it was a yawn in comparison to the Mercedes. I will attend the Mercedes next year but probably not the Sony because the field is not a strong one. Many of the players from the Mercedes skip the Sony.
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