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SBD/Issue 238/Leagues & Governing Bodies
Tiger Woods, Ernie Els Offer Criticisms Of Finchem, FedEx Cup
Published September 6, 2007
|Woods Criticizes New Schedule
With FedEx Cup Playoffs
Els Questions Deferred Payment
Of Bonus To FedEx Cup Winner
BMW: Woods also criticized plans to move the BMW Championship to different markets in the Midwest, with the occasional return to Chicago. Woods: “I didn't like that idea. I think this is a great town. It's one of the biggest sport towns, if not one of the biggest markets we have in our country. I just don't understand why we can't play here year after year.” Finchem said moving the tournament around to courses near Indianapolis and St. Louis will better serve the Tour’s interests, adding, “I think it was a good decision” (THE DAILY). Finchem, in a Q&A with the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, said, “The reaction that we’ve had about rotating out of Chicago hasn’t been lost on us. ... We’re not decided long-term. Other people are involved -- the tournament sponsor, the Western Golf Association and the fans -- so we’ll be having those discussions. I don’t see us in any position where we have to rush to any conclusions” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 9/6). Finchem also said that Medinah Country Club near Chicago hosting the 2012 Ryder Cup would not keep the Tour from returning the same year to Cog Hill for the third FedEx Cup event. Finchem: “If we wanted to play here in 2012, Chicago could support a BWM and Ryder Cup.” He also acknowledged that the BMW could be in S.F. “at some point in the next decade,” as the Tour has an agreement to put at least one event in the city by 2019. Finchem: “This tournament could be one of our options” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/6).
CHANGES COMING? Finchem has been noncommittal on potential tweaks to the FedEx Cup system, and yesterday he offered slightly conflicting statements on where changes can be expected. At his press conference he said, “I don't feel compelled as we sit here today to change anything about this system. I want to hear players explain to me what their concerns are, what they would like to see happen, why it's better, and then we have a process.” But in an interview taped yesterday for Golf Channel’s “Golf Central,” he added, “Everybody says, ‘Are you going to tweak the system?’ Probably, but the fundamentals are working” (THE DAILY).
REAX: In Chicago, Mike Downey writes under the header, “FedEx Fails To Deliver.” Downey: “If the golfers don’t treat it like a major, it’s a minor.” Golfer Aaron Oberholser said Woods and Mickelson “drive the Tour. And when they don’t play, the event is not the same thing” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/6). Also in Chicago, Tim Cronin wonders, “Is there a place on the calendar for [a four-week playoff]?” Woods: “There really isn’t. If the schedule is this short, there really isn’t” (DAILY SOUTHTOWN, 9/6). In Dallas, Bill Nichols writes Mickelson “made a statement” by skipping this week’s event that said, “Professional golfers are so pampered, they don’t mind damaging the inaugural FedEx Cup because it’s not exactly how they wanted it” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/6). In Orlando, Mike Bianchi asks Finchem, “Why should we care about your sport when your own golfers don’t? If ever a group of professional athletes deserved the scorn and the derision of the American working stiff, it is the golfers who have turned the [playoffs] into an indisputable end-of-the-season punch line” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 9/6). But in Nashville, Joe Biddle writes, “Next year will be the litmus test. It will need more tweaking. Will the top stars commit to playing?” (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 9/6).