Monday Thoughts: Did Tim Finchem Give Tiger Woods Free OWGR Points to Play Wyndham This Week?

Evening Reading:

I just read an interesting article in the New York Times about today’s news coverage, which also applies to the world of golf:

Since the days when most major cities supported multiple newspapers, the news media has long been subject to groupthink, and prone to search for sensation. But as more readers move toward online social networks, and as publishers desperately seek scale to bring in revenue, many have deplored a race toward repetitive, trivial journalism, so noisy that it drowns out more considered work.

And:

In recent weeks, there have been complaints from various corners of the media world that online news has deteriorated, and that it is now focused on the viral at the expense of the substantive.

It’s about 1,500 words and well worth the time it takes to read it.  Here’s another tidbit:

According to research by Facebook, news pages, often heavy with advertising, take an average of eight seconds to load, the longest for any kind of content. That can feel like a lifetime to a smartphone user seeking a quick glimpse of the news while waiting in line or commuting. When readers finally arrive at the story, they must steel themselves for a fight — to dismiss pleadings to subscribe or register, or to shut down advertisements that play automatically, by touching a tiny, moving “X” with the fingertip precision of a surgeon.

And:

The weapon of choice is often emotion. Specialists optimize and test multiple headlines and pictures. If they land on a successful formula — asking a provocative question, hinting at a profound experience, including a celebrity name — it is quickly echoed by other outlets.

IMPORTANT BREAKING NEWS!!!

Tiger Woods to play Wyndham!

Okay, so it’s not really important.  But it is kind of breaking, or at least Woods, Finchem, and Steinberg would like you to think it is.

What a load of nonsense.  The deal-making could not be more transparent.

Let’s go through the chronology:

July 30:  From Golf Channel, we learn that Tiger Woods is receiving an exemption to play in the Hero Challenge, an 18-man OWGR points giveaway that requires participants be in the OWGR top fifty.  Woods, at the time was OWGR #266.  (Now, he is OWGR #286.)  [By the way, those points will also count toward Olympics qualifying.  They will also, of course, count toward qualification in WGC events.]

August 3:  From ESPN, we learn Woods is “considering” whether or not to play the Wyndham, a tournament he has never before played.  It is dependent, though, on Woods “playing well in the PGA”:

NORTON, Mass. — If Tiger Woods has a strong-enough showing at next week’s PGA Championship, he will consider playing in the Wyndham Championship the following week in order to attempt to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs.

“Playing well in the PGA, that determines whether or not I play Wyndham [Championship] and obviously the rest of the FedEx Cup playoffs,” Woods said at a media day for the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Okay, pretty clearly he did not play well, as he missed the cut.  He started the PGA Championship at FedEx Cup #187 and finished at FedEx Cup #187.  But he’s playing Wyndham, anyway.  So there was no “decision” based on his play the PGA Championship.  That was just a smokescreen that didn’t work out, designed to cover the quid pro quo deal between Finchem and Woods.

August 17:  From ESPN, we learn that Woods is, despite the poor showing at the PGA, playing the Wyndham.

Could it be any clearer that Finchem told Woods he’d give him the free Hero Challenge OWGR points in exchange for agreeing to play the Wyndham?  I got a real kick out of how Steinberg said it would have been bad form to announce Woods was playing Wyndham over the weekend.  Like he couldn’t have announced it July 30 and been done with it.  You know, come out and say: “Today Tim Finchem gave Tiger an exemption into the Hero OWGR Points Giveaway, and, by the way, Tiger is playing the Wyndham.  There’s no connection whatsoever.  Thanks for your time.”

This crap is beyond old.  Would it even be possible for the management of the PGA Tour to be any more corrupt?  If Woods is to play in the Hero Challenge, he should forfeit any OWGR points he might win.

wwcd2

Mike and Mike:  The show opened with a long discussion about Jason Day and the PGA Championship.

ESPN SportsCenter:  Day and the PGA Championship was the lead story.  They spent several minutes on golf, looking back at the year’s majors, and covering the OWGR changes.

ESPN Website:  Top story is Jason Day and the PGA Championship.

Crickets and Tumbleweeds:  No response from Brandel Chamblee regarding Woods’s Rock Ishii ball-aided success in 2000.

More on Mike and Mike:  ESPN continues to cover Jason Day extensively.  In Monday’s Top Stories, they have 1. Jason Day, 2. Jordan Spieth.

Bad Trend For Woods:  Sports reporters are nothing if not imitative and lemming-like; you won’t rock the boat and lose your job if you only say things you hear every other sports reporter saying.  Unfortunately for Woods, though, it’s becoming de riguer for those in the general sports media to express an obligatory dismissal of Woods when they report on the Days and Spieths and McIlroys.  Things along the lines of, “Tiger Woods dropped to #286, and, frankly, he’s just not a story any more.”  That’s old news to golf fans, but general sports fans are having cold water splashed in their faces.  And think of the message it sends to Nike and Finchem and Golf Channel: We’re not buying any more of your Tiger Woods hogwash.

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63 Responses to Monday Thoughts: Did Tim Finchem Give Tiger Woods Free OWGR Points to Play Wyndham This Week?

  1. JoseyWales says:

    Jim Nantz and now Mike and Mike have the lead story…and the Golf Channel is still wallowing in Tiger. This will hurt them.

  2. Ace says:

    Let Golf Channel talk about him all they want. All the talking in world will never lead to him competing with the elite players again. It is a new era now and everyone can see it. I would love to see the Woods of 15 years ago competing against the elite of today. These players are miles better than the competition Woods faced.

    • Ken says:

      I don’t know if I go with the “these players are so much better” line of thinking. It’s all relative. Great players would be great players in any era. The equipment has changed dramatically. If players from fifteen years ago or from the 70s or 50s were playing today, they’d be playing with modern equipment and would be hitting it just like today’s players. The reverse of that is also true.

      No one would accuse me of being a Woods fan, certainly not if you’ve read all the comments I’ve made here. But he beat the only competition available to him (PEDs and Rock Ishii balls are another factor that I’m omitting for the sake of this argument). And that competition included HOFer like Els, Mickelson, and Singh and other very good players like Duval and Goosen for a time. There are very few great, HOF-class players (although they do seem to be lowering the standards). I’d say that Rory and Jordan are well on their way to the HOF. But even among HOF players throughout golf history, very few rack up big numbers in majors, “big” really not being all that big, maybe starting at 5. Nicklaus had Palmer(7) and Player (9), but most of Palmer’s majors and some of Player’s were before Jack’s prime. Watson won eight, but some of those were really past Nicklaus’ prime. Trevino won six and five of them were at Nicklaus’ peak, so that was pretty significant.

      There are only so many dominant players and it’s been rare that they really overlap. Maybe the best era was the Snead/Nelson/Hogain one. We might be entering a great new era with Rory, Jordan, Jason, and maybe even Rickie. But everyone tends to get ahead of themselves a bit. Maybe none of these guys will win another major (or Rickie even one). I think they will, but it all looks rosy today after Day’s great win and with McIlory already at four and with five of the last six majors won by this group. But it’s not a given that any of them are going to win a lot more majors. Maybe Rory will get over ten and Jordan and Day will stall out at five or less. I don’t think it would be fair in the future to then class Rory’s competition as poor.

      Sorry for the rambling. I guess with stuff like this, only time will tell.

      • lannyh says:

        Total agreement. People like to make sweeping statements and speculate, though. (Which they may or may not fully believe.) And, after sitting through some ten years of hearing, “It’s not if, it’s when” regarding Woods and Nicklaus’s major record, I don’t blame them! So prepare for a lot of “payback speculation”!

        I think there is also a tendency to assume athletes are always better in the present day than in the past. Measurable records (high jump, running races) do tend to improve, but there are a multitude of reasons other than “athlete evolution.” For one thing, as the sample size increases over the years, the odds of a Secretariat showing up increase. (Secretariat had a huge heart — 2.75 larger than normal — allowing him to process oxygen better than his competitors; Spieth, or anyone else, could have some undetected abnormality making putting, say, vastly easier for him) Of course, equipment and training advances take place, so obviously comparing Jack’s longest drives in 1965 to those fifty years later is not of much use. And nowadays, we also cheating via PEDs.

        Anyway, I think there is going to be a LOT of glorification of today’s players until Woods is no longer mentioned every two minutes on Golf Channel. A lot of the praise for Spieth is meant as damnation of Woods, no doubt about that. For the Woods Only crowd, payback will be hell. (And I think it is deserved. They basically treated every current player, and every past player, as worthless pieces of trash. The media insulted the entire sport for fifteen years. They only glorified Nicklaus in order to build up Woods’s inevitable 19th major. I bet an Aesop scholar could point out scores of fables that precisely fit the golf media since 1996.)

        [When the media speaks of today’s “fearless” young players, they are saying players like Furyk (who won a major, mind you) were scared sh-tless to play Woods. As if. With Woods, though, the media always had to come up with some “greater then Gandhi” narrative or other.]

        Now I am the one who is rambling!

    • Bird says:

      If it’s true, well, Urkel beat them by 12 to 15 shots. What’s/where’s the beef?
      Oh, I forgot, it was Rock’s ball. ha ha

  3. Sports-realist2 says:

    …..Really interesting to consider that Spieth has ALREADY equaled the Major wins of people like Greg Norman, Fuzzy Zoeller, Johnny Miller, Retief Goosen, ect….
    …..When you consider Jason Day, I was starting to compare him to the great golfers who just couldn’t get it done…..Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson, Colin Montgomerie just found ways to LOSE for years in majors….
    ……I thought Day would do the same thing, and Spieth would win not playing his best, but still raising the trophy…..Perhaps that’s what different about now and even 5-10 years ago…
    …..When Eldrick had close major contests, consider the people he went against…Bob May, Chris Dimarco, Rocco Mediate, and YE Yang…..Mostly ‘flash in the pan’ golfers, who never was any consistent rival……
    …..Almost makes me laugh when people say Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els were Woods rivals, and those guys made the PGA tour sooo deep….? Remember all those other SUPPOSED TO BE rivals like Adam Scott, Mike Wier, Trevor Immelman, and Ricky Barnes, and Charles Howell III…
    …..Els and Mickelson RARELY played in a tight contest with Eldrick….Hard to have RIVALRIES when the Sunday showdowns were ‘few and far between’……

    • lannyh says:

      I’m not surprised Day won a major in the least. He’s been close many times; he plays well in big events. He’s just been battling injuries, and the vertigo thing is the type thing that weighs on you even when you are not suffering from it, as you fear it might flare up.

      I so clearly remember when Rory, Day and Fowler were grouped together the first two rounds at Augusta in 2011. They all played great, and I really felt like we were looking at the future of golf.

    • Bird says:

      The Beemer took care of Urkel, then provided dance entertainment.

  4. GolfPro says:

    Face it, Tiger raised the bar. Nowadays we are seeing a whole crop of young golfers who saw that raised bar and aimed to clear it, and now they are. And, with Tiger and his performances front and center for so many kids growing up, there are now a bunch of talented guys that have been able to get to that bar.

    • Ken says:

      If Tiger Woods had never been born, Rory, Jordan, and Jason would be exactly who they are today.

      • GolfPro says:

        Are you sure? Yes, they would still (likely) be golfers, but would they be THIS good?

      • Ken says:

        Yes. They’d be that good (in my opinion). They’d still be who they are. I think people are born to a degree with innate talent and the drive to succeed, though both can be taught to a degree. Equipment makers would still be cranking new clubs and faster balls. Maybe Nike wouldn’t have invested as heavily in golf, but the race for bigger, better, faster clubs was long underway pre-Woods.

        Look at McIlroy. His father and grandfather were club champions at the course where he grew up. He started playing before anyone knew who Woods was. His hero was Faldo. Why do you think Tiger Woods’ presence would have made him better?

        Young men have been taking up golf for hundreds of years. In at least the case of McIlory (I don’t know much of the history of the others), his family was the reason that he started playing. When he discovered his obvious ability for the game, I don’t think he needed Tiger Woods to become great.

      • lannyh says:

        The Woods crowd so want to believe the myth of Woods that they make up narratives and convince themselves they are true. It’s called “motivated reasoning.”

    • lannyh says:

      You are trying to raise the bar on trolling. Unsuccessfully.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      ….The bar was ALREADY raised– he was called Jack Nicklaus, and only young ones like yourself don’t understand golf did NOT begin in 1997…..
      …..By using the ‘raising the bar’ reference, you admit the PGA tour was WEAK at the time, hence making it easier to win…..
      …..The MYTH that Eldrick’s father was the first to start a kid young is just silly……Plenty of golfers started playing at a young age….They wouldn’t have even heard of Eldrick, anymore than I did until around 1996….
      ……Ernie Els started playing at age 8, Mickelson was 4, Nicklaus was 10, just to name a few, so this was going on decades earlier…
      ……I suppose some of the golf channel would give credit to Eldrick for Jack Nicklaus wanting to take up the game….
      ….To use another sports example: Did Michael Jordan ‘raise the bar’ for Kobe Bryant? No……Kobe would have still been a great player and won just as many championships…
      ……The Major RECORDS still belong to Jack…18 wins, 19 second place finishes…..LESS Major cuts before 40….Eldrick now only holds ONE sole Major scoring record at St. Andrews…
      ……Plus STEROIDS isn’t going away….The PED/Galea connection is being avoided by RIGGED coverage……If you look at Eldrick the same way KNOWING he cheated throughout much of his career, like Alex Rodriquez, WHO had the SAME doctor, then you are the only one….

      • GolfPro says:

        My apologies. I have failed to get the point I was trying to make across so we’ll just leave it be.

  5. GolfPro says:

    I did this a few days ago and of course since it involves Tiger people around here jumped on me but face it, every so often a guy comes along that raises the bar. Tiger is the latest but before him there was Norman and Faldo, and before them there was Waston, and before him Jack, and before him, Arnie, and before him Hogan, Nelson, Snead, and before them Jones. It happens.

    • GolfPro says:

      And maybe, maybe Jordan is the next, or maybe Rory, or maybe both.

    • lannyh says:

      That is some deep analysis. You are saying that a sports media star during a person’s childhood draws their attention. How profound!

    • Ken says:

      But there’s always someone. If you want to put that on Woods, fine. If Woods had never been born, it would have been someone else.

      I don’t agree with your apparent premise that there’s a cause-and-effect across generations. I don’t think Watson needed Nicklaus to be who he was. Or that Jack needed Arnie. They took up a game and wanted to succeed. I guess you can say that they were inspired by whoever the current great pros were, but those “current great pros” are interchangeable across the decades as far as inspiration goes.

      • GolfPro says:

        That’s true. If Woods have never been born it would be someone else. Be he was, so for these guys he was the benchmark. Jordan, Rory, Day, etc may have ended up good golfers but growing up, to be great, they had to get to Tiger’s level. And they did.

      • Ken says:

        That’s my point. It would have been someone else. He was a great golfer, but I’m not giving him credit for being this huge inspiration just by virtue of the fact that he was born. If he did inspire people, they’d have been inspired by whoever else was winning golf tournaments. Rory and Jordan would have been great players by getting to the level of play of whoever the top players would be in the non-Tiger alternate universe.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        ….Good points Ken….Heck, even Nicklaus and Palmer benefited from the relatively NEW approach to covering golf on television….Had they not been there, some OTHER golfer would have showed up, perhaps not as successful, but we wouldn’t really know the difference, since the networks would be calling them GREAT instead….
        ….The famous ‘Arnie’s Army’ slogan sounds like today’s SIMILAR attempt to ATTRACT the fair weather fans….Obviously it worked, in very similar ways to how many fair weather fans viewed Eldrick and his ‘Tiger’ name…..

  6. TruthTeller says:

    Well, I guess the deal-making it’s transparent to this guy so please, elaborate on the deal.

  7. Ace says:

    Interesting points all. A little off subject but is everybody else as happy as I am that Jordan went with Under Armour and Jason TaylorMade/Adidas? NIKE didn’t get much TV time yesterday.

    • Ken says:

      I’m with you. Having nothing to do with Tiger, I’ve never liked Nike. Always thought that their shoes were inferior products that wore out quickly. I really turned against them when I read an SI article on Phil Knight quite a long time ago (maybe as far back as the 1980s). He didn’t sounds like a bad guy, but one who in my opinion was just getting too powerful in sports. Remember how some of the Nike-affiliated Olympic basketball players insisted on covering up the Reebok logos on their uniforms? They and others were becoming too loyal to Nike at the expense of their actual teams.

      So I’ve always been anti-Nike; the only few things I own from them were gifts.

    • lannyh says:

      Oh, man, I hadn’t thought much about Jason’s primary sponsor. Great point. Sweet!

    • Bird says:

      2015 Majors – Titleist (3), TaylorMade (1).

  8. Jaybird says:

    I’m actually somewhat disappointed that Jason went with TaylorMade/Adidas. That’s not to say I would have liked to have seen him go to Nike but I think TaylorMade, and the way they conduct business, launching “new” equipment every 6 months is bad for golf. And, quite frankly, they are beginning to feel the effects.

    Under Armour is apparel only, and they have good stuff, so I’m “okay” with Jordan being there and with Titleist. To me, the best equipment brands, in no particular order, are Titleist, Callaway, and Ping. Cobra has gotten a ton better and Cleveland is on that same second tier. Taylormade can just go away as far as I’m concerned.

    • lannyh says:

      Valid point, but… You can buy a plain shirt for $3, or one with UA on it for $30…

    • Ken says:

      I wonder if UnderArmour will get into golf equipment, the way that Nike did. Remember that at the beginning, Woods wore Nike apparel but played Titleist clubs until Nike produced equipment for him.

      The golf industry isn’t in great shape. I just read last week that Adidas would love to unload it’s golf business (TaylorMade and Adams). It would be interesting if UA were to purchase one or both.

      • lannyh says:

        If they do, that would be a logical way to do it. Buy an existing company, stamp your name on the clubs, and announce that UA clubs are different, that they “have electrolytes” in them. That said, I wonder if Jordan would have any interest whatsoever in changing clubs. Maybe they could buy Titleist?

      • Ken says:

        Buying Titleist would probably take some serious cash. Titleist/Footjoy/Cameron/Cobra under the Acushnet umbrella has got to be the most valuable golf empire out there. Although in clubs, no one can touch TaylorMade’s market share. But TM discounts stuff a lot more than Titleist.

      • DanishDude says:

        Acushnet sold Cobra to Puma in 2009. And Acushnet itself was sold to Fila (korean) in 2011.

      • Jaybird says:

        Correct Danish, Puma/Cobra now.

        That’s why Taylormade is hurting so much. By coming out with new stuff every 6 months they have basically cannibalized themselves, creating an environment where they have to discount each “new” line every few months. Their margins suck compared to the other companies and they are starting to lose favor with folks.

      • Ken says:

        Thanks for the info DD.

      • Bird says:

        Adidas will hang onto their apparel. UA won’t want golf clubs, and has started a shoe line.

  9. Jason says:

    2015 was the best year of Major watching in my 20 years of following golf. Yes, I started watching in my early teens with TW was rising, and was the only story reported on. I love that we now have a whole crew of bonafide superstars to watch, and love it even more that they all understand what sportsmanship means.

    Golf is in a great place. Additionally, you can tell that the mainstream golf media is beginning to share Lanny’s opinion on the sport, as coverage/blogs/stories aren’t 100% TW these days. It’s fun watching this change and it’s really fun watching the new generation of golfers take over.

    • Bird says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, but I thought it fell short of what was promised. The Masters has become same ol’ same ol’. Chambers Bay greens were horrid, and spectators couldn’t follow players all the way around. The R&A and TOC couldn’t handle the weather. 20-under won at Whistlin’ Straits. I grade 2015 majors a C-.

      • Jason says:

        You didn’t get a thrill out of watching some have a legitimate shot at the Grand Slam right up until the 71st hole of the year’s 3rd major? I will definitely agree that the Masters has become somewhat ho-hum, the greens at Chambers were bad (but that course is in my backyard so it gets a Homer pass from me) and while I don’t like seeing golfers get to -20 in a major, I really did love watching Jason Day win. All the champs this year are good people, as well as good golfers, and that alone made it an interesting year.

        Can we at least up it to a B-? Remember, my whole life watching majors so far has been all about TW. This was a really refreshing year since everyone knew he had no real shot, therefore he didn’t totally steal all the attention. I think that might have just pushed it to a B+.

  10. TheoriesAbound says:

    I don’t leave in the conspiracy theory world you do so I’ll offer up a different spin. Tiger said he playing well would determine if he played Wyndham or not. So let’s say he did play well, which in his mind, probably means winning, then he wouldn’t have to play Wyndham. But he didn’t play well, so now, if he wants to play in the playoffs then he’ll have to play in, and win, the Wyndham.

    Personally, I really don’t have any reason to think it’s connected to his event.

    • Bird says:

      May be, or maybe not. Whatever, Urkel is harmless. He’s simply a father figure (like it or not) to a lot of players who respect his career (like it or not), but don’t take him seriously as far as competing anymore. Show a little compassion. Let the old man fade away.

  11. Sports-realist2 says:

    ………USA today had an article a few days ago: FANS ARE FURIOUS WITH CBS’S PGA CHAMPIONSHIP BROADCAST…..
    ………Basically showing tweets of what many of us are saying about the OVER coverage on ‘stories’ and ‘interviews’ and the ‘announcers’ themselves, INSTEAD of, oh I don’t know—-GOLF SHOTS!!!!!!! One person tweeted: “You have literally all week to run a special on the 2010 PGA but you do it DURING LIVE PLAY of the current event. This is getting insane.”

  12. Soothsayer says:

    Seems like about this time, maybe earlier, maybe later, last year, you and/or people in general posed the question, “How much longer are we going to be subjected to, effectively, “All Tiger all the time?”. My response was, about a year. Well, here we are seemingly a year later and the media outlets, other than GC, seem to be moving on. I CALLED IT!!

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      …..Eldrick has been missing cuts…..If you watch the cuts he made, they STILL are showing his almost every shot, regardless of placement or position…..Golf channel’s marquee group is usually Eldrick, so I’d hardly say they have moved past it yet….
      …..This week, the golf media will treat the Wyndham like it’s the 5th Major, now that Eldrick is playing……You don’t think they won’t show his EVERY shot? Not sure what coverage you are talking about….Yetserday, many of the graphics they put up were ‘Woods-rigged’, instead of showing just yesterday’s golfers……

      • Soothsayer says:

        You must have missed the “other than GC” part. And as Lanny said in his initial post, darn near everyone is talking Day and Spieth today.

      • Bird says:

        Some day you’ll miss Tiger, playing bad even. ha ha

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      ….I’ve seen the golf channel mention ‘oh the tiger era is over’, but they certainly don’t cover the events like that yet……..
      ….They STILL had the ‘lets show tiger’ highlights of his MISSED cut…Showing WAY too many so-called HIGHLIGHTS of an OVER par round…..Usually showing more of WOods bad shots, than the LEADERS good shots………
      ….When they stop doing that I’ll be more convinced…..Perhaps with this new golf channel producer coming in, they will adjust how they handle it….

      • Bird says:

        I find the directors and cameramen aren’t as good. Sloppy transitions, balls lost, etc. A new crop after retirements?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Someone please explain this “exemption” thing that Tiger has apparently received. How in the hell can you get into events that are based on points earnings throughout the year if you haven’t enough points ? What about the fella that missed it by “one” point ? Certainly a slap in his face ?

    • Bird says:

      Plain and simple, Hero has stepped up for PGAT in today’s not always quality branding (aka crappy sponsors), and Urkel has a deal with Hero.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        …..Steinberg/Nike must have contacted Finchem at some point, introducing the idea of letting Eldrick play in his 18 man event, even if he didn’t qualify….Who knows for sure when this occured, but since these last two years, where Eldrick has dropped out of the top 100, Steinberg must have realized he needed to do something….
        …..This meant they needed to find INCOME and FACE TIME another way, even though he didn’t deserve it….Steinberg has to know Eldrick’s career is fading fast, and without exemptions, he may not get to play in nearly as many events…
        …..Perhaps they convinced Finchem and friends, that without Eldrick, the event wouldn’t last……..As Lanny is suggesting, perhaps Finchem allowed this to occur WITH concessions….The concessions being that Eldrick HAD to play in a few other ‘different’ tournaments over the next few seasons……Ofcourse that’s a theory, but the way FINCHEM runs the PGA like a defacto DICTATOR behind the scenes, he can make up the rules as he wants…..
        …..With that said, exemptions are nothing knew….The ‘Not really sure if he was playing at Wyndham’ thing till today was probably a smokescreen, since he intended to play all along, based on the possible agreement with Finchem……
        …..Someone pointed out that Woods will be out of ‘automatic qualifying status by 2018, which would mean he will need an exemption to play…..

      • Ken says:

        The only exemption that Woods can lose is the US Open. That would be in 2019. He no doubt would be granted a special exemption multiple times, as was done for Palmer, Nicklaus, and others.

        He’s earned lifetime entry to PGA events, the PGA Championship, and The Masters. British Open until 60.

  14. Bird says:

    In a minute, or two, or three, some of us will swear to seeing A Grassy Knoll near Ponte Vedra.

    • lannyh says:

      Well, answer this question honestly. Which is more likely, that Woods cut a deal with Finchem, or that Woods suddenly decided on his own volition to play an event he’d never played before at a venue which does not particularly suit his game?

      The idea of a Woods/Finchem quid pro quo deal is the farthest thing from a “conspiracy theory.” Come on, there’s no need for a “conspiracy theory” when we know Finchem gave Woods a bizarre exemption for the Hero Challenge. 266 > 50, no? What a joke. To think that bizarre concession is part of a quid pro quo deal is far more logical than the two being unrelated.

      • Ken says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some deal cut with Woods. But Finchem doesn’t control OWGR, does he? Of course his influence would be considerable.

      • lannyh says:

        The reports were that Finchem made the decision after conferring with the OWGR people.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      Yeah it’s ONE thing to allow an exemption to a regular event, but it QUICKLY starts to look crooked when you are exempting certain golfers to FREE $$$$…..But that is what Finchem and friends are doing, and I doubt it stops there…It starts with the ‘hero challenge’, but then they say “hey he won some WGC events, let him play there too”…..

  15. JoseyWales says:

    Watching “The Boz” on ESPN 30 For 30…about Brian Bosworth…admitting steroid user whose NFL career flamed out after only three years…Bosworth’s doctor stated:
    “Brian was a twenty-five-year-old with the shoulders of a sixty-year-old. He flunked my physical.”

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