PGA Tour Facing Issue Related To Event Opportunities For Up-And-Coming Players
The PGA Tour is "facing a problem as a good number of players who advanced through the Web.com Tour finals last September are not finding spots in tournaments," according to Bob Harig of ESPN.com. While the Tour is about offering playing opportunities, it also is about "putting on a show, about selling tickets and earning sponsorship dollars and donating proceeds to charity," and "those issues sometimes clash." The "issue was discussed last week at a Player Advisory Council meeting at Hilton Head and is sure to be the topic of further talks." Golfer Josh Broadaway "took to Twitter to criticize" Nick Faldo for playing in last week's RBC Heritage. Faldo "missed the cut and had little chance of playing the weekend," but the sponsor is "given a few spots to use at its discretion." Typically the sponsor "does so to sell tickets and create attention." And it would "seem in this case, that worked." Unless you "want to prohibit sponsors from doing what they please" with the exemptions, they "ought to be able to invite who they want." That is "not to suggest some work can't be done to find more avenues into tournaments for those who seemingly thought the opportunities would be greater" when earning their cards (ESPN.com, 4/23).
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN? In S.F., Ron Kroichick wrote this week's inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, Calif., "carries the unmistakable whiff of a short-term solution." In a region "teeming with rich golf history and terrific courses, it’s ridiculous that the PGA and LPGA tours do not plant roots and return annually. We’re not talking about Kansas here." Swinging Skirts, the Taiwan-based organization sponsoring the tourney, "deserves full credit for providing a hefty" 1.8M purse. But sources "suggested Swinging Skirts really wants to hold this event in Taiwan long-term." LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said, “If I’m being totally honest, I don’t target an area. I pursue business partners and then find out where the event makes the most sense to them. We’re not circling cities -- we’re circling customers. Then we figure out where to play it.” Kroichick: "That's logical, but it also doesn't bode well for the future of this tournament in the Bay Area" (SFGATE.com, 4/23).