I know the PGA Tour likes to think of the Tour Championship as its “Super Bowl,” but does it have to mimic the NFL with a week off before the big finale? Whatever momentum was building from three terrific tournaments was wiped out by the quietest week in golf.
Even the LPGA and Champions tours went dark. Were they mourning the elimination of Tiger Woods from the FedEx Cup, too? It felt like the day after baseball’s All-Star game, aka the slowest sports day of the year, except it lasted four days. It had me wondering whether there was a Big Break rerun coming on. It had grown men (identity not disclosed to protect their manhood) watching Lifetime movies with their wives out of boredom. Sure, there was a Nationwide event in the afternoon and the European Tour to watch instead of the NFL pregame gabfests, but can’t we at least get Fred Couples in a pre-Silly Season event? If I’m an alternate-field event, I’d petition the Tour to move to the “bye week” of the FedEx Cup playoffs. I’d bet Turning Stone, for instance, would get a better field than it would opposite the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
I’m not sure I buy why these guys who are so good need a week off during the playoffs, but I guess nothing says playoffs like dragging it out (hockey in June, baseball in November). If you absolutely, positively have to take a week off during the FedEx Cup playoffs, shift it to the post-Labor Day finish following the Deutsche Bank Championship and before the BMW Championship.
Now I realize scheduling can be tricky, but not even all the marketing, promoting and spinning in the world can fix a bad date. The lords of football finally figured out how anti-climactic it was to schedule the Pro Bowl the week after the Super Bowl. Scheduling the Tour Championship the week before the Ryder Cup is like being the opening act for The Rolling Stones. Most sports fans will tune out this week before they tune in to find out who wins the Cup. That would be the one donated by the seed merchant named Sam, not the one funded by the overnight delivery company. Of that, I’m absolutely positive.