Finchem addresses DJ saga, Prez Cup changes
Thursday, August 21, 2014
It wasn’t his “State of the Tour” address. That will come in a few weeks at the finale to the 2013-14 season, the Tour Championship. But PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem did touch upon a few matters as he made an appearance before The Barclays at Ridgewood CC in Paramus, N.J. Nothing overly compelling, mind you, but Finchem did offer a reactions and observations.
• Regarding all the grumbling about how there were fewer playing opportunities than anticipated for some at the end of the Web.com Tour Finals priority list, Finchem said he had some sympathy. Blame it on the success off the wrap-around season, he said.
“(It) was surprising the number of (PGA Tour) players who played more events in the fall. We’ll see what develops with that. That’s OK. It does put a little bit more pressure on access for the Web.Com tour players coming out.”
In other words: His sympathy isn’t so overflowing that he thinks the design needs to be overhauled again.
• The Dustin Johnson saga remains a topic not to be touched. Asked if the PGA Tour requires Johnson to address the “personal” issues he alluded to in a statement Finchem said, “we understand his statement and . . . we support his decision to do it and we’ll have no further comment.”
Just to emphasize that point, when Finchem was asked if Johnson was required to get professional help, the commissioner added: “We have no further comment.”
In other words: They have no comment.
• Dredging up a suggestion that goes back to the ice age, Finchem was asked if there has been any serious talk of combining the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup.
Diplomatically, Finchem answered by saying, “I’m always of the view that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” He insisted that the Presidents Cup does very well and offered the no-brainer that “the Ryder Cup is doing phenomenally well.”
In other words: Are you kidding? You think the PGA of America is going to cut the PGA Tour in on its cash cow?
• This year, 19 players who fell into the “major medical category” wound up playing in a combined 262 tournaments. (Six of those 19 regained their full status.) In some ways, that contributed to the lack of playing opportunities for those at the bottom of the Web.Com Tour Finals list. Finchem conceded that the major medical list, while necessary, perhaps needs tweaking.
“We have been looking at that category. We have had an uptick (more players on the list) and it was put some pressure on the access to the Web.com Tour players. We are just evaluating it.”
In other words: If players are in better shape than ever before, why are so many of them hurt? The Tour would like to find the answer.