New Season Dawns; Finchem Clings to Yesterday

Van Sickle to the Rescue?

I just submitted this question to Gary Van Sickle, the epochal golf writer.

vsqIf anyone can get the ball rolling, it’s Van Cynical.  Van Sickle to the rescue, Van Sickle to the rescue!

Dawn:  What a great event!  Emiliano Grillo, who won our award for Most Courageous Round two years ago, prevailed in a dramatic playoff to claim victory in his very first start as a PGA Tour member.  Despite doing his best imitation of the Wolverines vs the Spartans on the 73rd hole, Emiliano hung tough and clinched the deal on the 74th.

I have to pat myself on the back for my calls regarding the three rookies.  I predicted Grillo would have the best finish among he and Harold Varner and Smylie Kaufman:  “It will be interesting to see how those three perform this weekend.  My money is on Grillo, as he has European Tour experience.”

To follow up on my Players to Watch:

  • Grillo won.
  • Kaufman got a top ten in his first start as a PGA Tour member.
  • Varner floundered on Sunday, but that sometimes happens, especially when you find yourself in contention in your first year on Tour.  He should write it off to a learning experience, and think no more about it.
  • Rory had a bland, forgettable tournament, ’nuff said.
  • Justin Thomas played four solid rounds, which was not usually the case last year.  He would play three or three-and-a-half good rounds, but shoot himself in the foot with one bad stretch.  This solid performance bodes well for the new season.  Had he made two more putts somewhere along the way, he would have been lifting the trophy.

Dusk: Finchem STILL Clings to Past:

A new PGA Tour season has begun, but Tim Finchem has ordered his minions to continue to shill for Tiger Woods.  Woods, who has one top ten in the past two years, who is ranked #342 in the world, is still the player featured on the PGA Tour website’s Player page:

fincAs we begin this new season, Finchem still features Woods, who has not won since… well, you have to go back four seasons now.  Still, Finchem highlights Woods instead of the 22-year-old winner of two majors and Player of the Year, Jordan Spieth.  Jason Day, wins five events including a major, and he is left off completely — so that Finchem can highlight Woods.

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13 Responses to New Season Dawns; Finchem Clings to Yesterday

  1. Ken says:

    The website picture is ludicrous. Woods featured like that. #342 in the world and may not even be playing until April. Mickeslon shouldn’t be there either.

    Nice call on Grillo I feel kind of bad for Kevin Na. Contends a lot, obvious ability. But he always comes up short.

    • lannyh says:

      I love Na. He might have the best attitude of anyone on Tour. His interview yesterday after yanking the fairway driver was total class and openness.

  2. Ken says:

    How in god’s name is Spieth not the featured player?!?

  3. benchrat says:

    we all know rory showed up to honor a commitment, but it’s not hard to imagine him not having his heart into going to work in the middle of a ‘vacation’. that’s not me saying he just mailed it in either.

    • lannyh says:

      Right. Maybe his prep wasn’t top-shelf, but he would have enjoyed being in contention. On the other hand, he’s probably not going to lose any sleep.

      I just checked his schedule and it is this:

      Off one week
      Turkish Open
      WGC-HSBC
      Off one week
      Dubai Tour Championship

      Four times in six weeks. I guess he’s meeting his obligations for minimum number of Euro events. He’ll be finishing only one week before fall series PGA ends.

  4. PuttersMatter says:

    It’s an obvious statement but Rory is only as good as his putter….and his putter isn’t very good…….at least it’s not consistent, which is why he doesn’t win more.

  5. Reality says:

    Tiger is the greatest player of the last 20 years. In today’s media world, showcase the people that people want to talk about. Sorry, people don’t want to talk about Jordan.

    • Ken says:

      Right. Showcase a guy who isn’t even healthy enough to play and when he is, can’t make the cut in the premier events on tour.

      The tour is worried about the inevitable future without Tiger Woods, yet they promote him over the games young stars when there’s no reason to do so. Their “problem” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      He’s the biggest star of the last twenty years. True. Maybe they should put David Duval, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Fred Couples, and the late Payne Stewart on the cover of the media guide with him. They were a big deal during the last twenty years too.

      • lannyh says:

        “Their ‘problem’ becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

        Exactly, they spent the past 20 years telling people “Only Tiger Matters.” Showed him when he was not even in contact with the leaders. Sent the message that no other players were worth following.

        It’s funny now that Jordan Spieth is blowing away Woods’s records that the media STILL clings to Woods. Makes you wonder what was really going on all those years.

      • Ken says:

        I don’t think the tour understands the whole concept of marketing and advertising. In any business, there is an element of giving the people what they want. But effective marketing and advertising shapes what they want. The tour, for its own good, needs to ween people off Tiger Woods and on to its young stars. Even if Woods is 100% healthy, his time is very limited.

        Effective marketing and advertising to a degree made Tiger Woods as popular as he was. A lot of that popularity was of course due to his own skills. But if that was all their was to becoming popular, fans would themselves always gravitate towards the best players. But they don’t, as the continued interest in a past-his-prime Tiger Woods exceeding interest in superior players like Spieth, McIlroy, and Day proves. Fowler’s own advertising is proof of the power of marketing: a guy with one win coming into 2015 was the most popular player with young kids.

        Without effective marketing by Nike and the tour, Tiger Woods would not have been as popular as he was. His real, raw personality, without the “I Am Tiger Woods” campaign and all that other Nike treacle, sure as heck would not have generated his popularity.

    • lannyh says:

      By that logic, we should highlight Nicklaus, the best player of all time.

  6. Bird says:

    My goodness, get over the showcasing. It’s “wah, wah, wah” here, nearly all the time. Y’all are sounding like babies. Babies with a great deal of hate, I might add. Hate does no good. Bury it and move on.

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