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SBD/January 20, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Published January 20, 2011
NEW WORLD ORDER: In S.F., Ron Kroichick writes we are "slowly inching toward a real world golf tour, where top players gather for marquee tournaments -- some in the U.S., some in Europe, some in the Middle East, some in Asia." And is that "really so terrible for golf?" It is "bad for" this week's PGA Tour Bob Hope Classic and next month's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which are "struggling to attract the world's best players, mostly because the Hope goes against the Abu Dhabi Championship, and the AT&T will unfold the same week as the Dubai Desert Classic." Only "three of the top 40 players in the world rankings teed off in Wednesday's opening round at the Hope." But golf "truly is a global game in 2011, and the European Tour achieved this week exactly what the PGA Tour sought with its 'playoffs' -- getting the best players to compete against one another, head-to-head." Kroichick: "That's good theater in any language" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/20).
ON THE UPSWING: Former driver Mario Andretti said the Izod IndyCar Series, "as we know it, is definitely on the upswing." Andretti: "I think now that it's unified, it has definitely taken off into the direction it needs to go and that it deserves. Izod is doing a tremendous job of promoting into mainstream America, and that's where we belong." Andretti said IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard is "doing a phenomenal job on so many fronts." Andretti: "He has learned tremendously over this past year. He is a very calculated individual. He's patient in some ways but also very energetic in some others. He's careful with his moves. ... I think he knows where it needs to go. He needs to know where we have to appeal. He is a very good business man" (SI.com, 1/18).