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Volume 24 No. 160

Leagues and Governing Bodies

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has "played down the prospects of a global tour coming to fruition any time soon, but has given his tentative support" to playing the PGA Championship outside the U.S. in the "near future," according to Brent Read of the AUSTRALIAN. While "conceding a global tour was possible," Finchem admitted it "wasn't under consideration at the moment and wouldn't be any time soon." He said, "The game will get more integrated at some level. But that doesn't necessarily mean going to a world tour. But I wouldn't leap to the conclusion that the professional game coming together means a 'World Tour.'" Finchem was "much more open to taking one of golf's four majors on a world tour in the near future," something the PGA of America has mentioned regarding the PGA Championship. Read noted the Australian Tour has "already put its hand up to host the fourth major on the calendar should the event go on the road." Finchem: "I certainly don't have a knee-jerk reaction on the negative side if it is good for the PGA Championship and it is good for the world of golf. The questions though that would need to be answered are where is it going to be played, how does it affect the calendar, etcetera" (AUSTRALIAN, 11/20).

CHECK YOUR SCHEDULE: GOLFWEEK's Forecaddie writes with the PGA Tour having concluded the "wrap" portion of the '13-14 calendar, how the first year of the new schedule went "depends whom you ask." Ryan Moore, who won a tournament, recorded another top 10 and now sits third in FedExCup points said, "Clearly I love it." But fellow golfer Tommy Gainey said, "I don't know if anyone wants to hear it or not, but I've got an opinion. I really don't like it. ... I'm just going to say one word: Confusing." Aside from the "semantics of a schedule that crosses two calendars, there were other bones to pick." Several Tour graduates earned PGA Tour cards, "but could not get into fall fields." Part of the problem "stemmed from a battle against darkness that limits field sizes to 132" (GOLFWEEK, 11/22 issue).

NASCAR Senior VP/Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell said that the sanctioning body "turned down opportunities to bring one of its national series" to Singapore, Malaysia and Russia, according to Nate Ryan of USA TODAY. O'Donnell: "We've had 20 groups approach us from China. But most of them are one-offs. We keep pushing back and saying we're going to do this but in a smart way." He added that Brazil, Japan and Russia are "viewed as the most enticing for building new series." Ryan notes NASCAR is expanding its media rights "with new Fox and NBC deals" beginning in '15, and their hope is that "foreign drivers will begin gravitating toward aiming at the Sprint Cup Series instead of open-wheel Formula One." While races in Mexico City and Montreal "disappeared from the Nationwide Series schedule in the past five years, NASCAR used those events to help build a footprint in Canada and Mexico that it hopes will become the blueprint for establishing leagues around the world." O'Donnell said the Sprint Cup Series is "tapped out" at 36 races. But he added that NASCAR would "consider returning" to Mexico with the Nationwide Series. But Ryan writes, "Holding a 'tentpole' event with a national series isn't viewed as necessary in NASCAR's long-term strategy for expanding into a country" (USA TODAY, 11/21).

IS PERCEPTION REALITY? NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr. appeared on FS1's "Crowd Goes Wild" last night and talked about the fans' perception of him as an African-American driver in a predominantly white sport. He said, “They see me as a driver, as how I want to be perceived. I like to say, once you close the shield on my helmet you don’t see who’s behind there, a man of color, you don’t know. They’re kind of getting tired of an African-American winning a race, it’s just another kid trying to come up through and that’s what I like. But I also like carrying the African-American race because there is no one there and it needs to change” (“Crowd Goes Wild,” FS1, 11/20).