FINCHEM PUTS BITE ON WORLD TOUR DURING SHARK SHOOT-OUT
"Both sides in the golf war drew lines in the bunkers
Saturday when the World Tour vowed to begin in 1995 and PGA Tour
Commissioner Tim Finchem said he doesn't see how it's possible."
Finchem, who met with World Tour organizer Greg Norman and a
number of PGA Tour players Friday night, released a statement
that said it would be "extremely difficult" to accommodate the
new tour (Thomas Bonk, L.A. TIMES, 11/20). During CBS' Saturday
telecast of Greg Norman's Franklin Funds Shark Shoot-Out, Jim
Nantz reported that Finchem felt there was a "fair amount of
flexibility" on the part of Norman and World Tour organizers. A
statement from Finchem, as read by Nantz: "We're going to review
our options, and I can only hope if we reach no common ground,
that Greg and his organizers will avoid confrontation and will
look at what's good for the game of golf." Finchem said a task
force is being formed at PGA headquarters in FL and they will
meet with World Tour organizers Tuesday. Finchem also said that
'95 start is "unlikely" and a '96 start would "also be
difficult." Norman, interviewed by Nantz: "We had a good
communication with Tim Finchem ... so only time will tell."
Norman on the perception that these plans came so suddenly to the
PGA Tour: "There was no maliciousness meant. We wanted to make
sure our side was OK, and we did it that way" (CBS, 11/19).
Norman, who left for a vacation in Australia, will not take part
in the Tuesday meeting. The World Tour is scheduled to begin in
'95 with eight $3M tournaments, all of them televised on Fox
(Thomas Bonk, L.A. TIMES, 11/21).
BATTLE LINES? Norman's business adviser Frank Williams is
hopeful there is room for compromise with the PGA Tour: "Perhaps
there is a compromise [that] we don't go with as many events in
the first season." But Williams was firm on the World Tour's
plan to start in '95, "no matter what" (Thomas Bonk, L.A. TIMES,
MORE REAX: Arnold Palmer: "My business, if I have any in
this situation, is to be sure that they protect what they have
right now -- and that is the PGA Tour." Peter Jacobsen didn't
think the World Tour would be up in '95, but added: "I think
we're on the right track, everyone's working together right now"
("Shoot-Out," CBS, 11/19). Columnist Thomas Boswell calls the
World Tour a "brazen display of self-interest" from Norman
(WASHINGTON POST, 11/19).