The inaugural Turkish Airlines World Golf Final began today and run through Thursday, but the PGA Tour was not happy about the scheduling of the event and there was "some serious push as it relates to player releases to hold this event," according to Golf World's Tim Rosaforte. The Turkey event -- an eight-man field highlighted by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy created by ISM Founder Chubby Chandler -- is going against a sponsor the PGA Tour “is trying to protect and court for bigger and better things.” The Frys.com Open tess off Thursday, and Frys Electronics CEO John Fry is a "deep-pocketed new sponsor (that) wants into the regular season." Chandler ran into Fry last week, and Fry was "cool" with the events coinciding. Golf Channel’s Gary Williams reiterated the PGA Tour “is not thrilled” with the Turkish event. However, Williams said if the PGA Tour is going to have a 50-week season opposite “these silly season events in other parts of the world that have the money to throw at you … you’ve got to live with that.” Williams: “That’s the reality when you look at these new frontiers, like the Far East (and the Turkish event).” Golf World Exec Editor Ron Sirak said the commissioners of the PGA and European PGA tours “need to protect their tournaments (but) on the other hand they don’t really want to tick off top players either” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 10/8).
NEW PRECEDENT: GolfChannel.com’s Rex Hoggard reports the PGA Tour allowing players to compete in Turkey “is setting an interesting precedent," because by “giving them the release … they’ll have to play at least once in the Frys.com over the three years.” Golfer Steve Flesch said, “That’s a step forward from in the past where they get their release and they’re not required to come back and play the event that they got the release (from).” Flesch said “this is something new” but there is “still a big grey area in there where we’re allowing guys to basically go get appearance fees." Flesch: "At least now we have the repercussion of you got to come back and play the event.” Golf Channel’s Gary Williams said, “This is a high-profile barter deal ... between the commissioner’s office and some of his top players” ("Morning Drive," Golf Central, 10/9).
THE BIGGER PICTURE: In London, Kevin Garside wrote for the Republic of Turkey there is “a bigger play under way.” The business of “convincing the western world that Turkey is a secular state that can be trusted continues with its aggressive management of the Syrian crisis.” Garside: “Powerplays with Arab dictators in the Middle Eastern block is manifestly a risky business. Putting on a sporting event that projects a sugary image of sun sea and palm trees is not only safer and cheaper, but penetrates far quicker the consciousness of the common man” (London INDEPENDENT, 10/9).