“Now”/”not” is a notoriously bad typo. That’s not the case in the headline to this piece. I’m now a fan.
I’m not going to research to check my memory, so either trust me, or go look it up yourself and try to ruin my story. Ben Hogan was in California, playing poorly, and running out of money. He had a flat tire. He asked Byron Nelson to loan him money for a tire. Hogan was going to return to Texas and give up on pro golf. Byron Nelson loaned him the money, but he also convinced Hogan to stay and play another week. Hogan cashed a check in that tournament, and thereafter started earning enough to remain on Tour.
This New Orleans event allows something similar. Consider Charley Hoffman, who is playing great and has solid Tour and WGC status, and Nick Watney, who has dropped out of the OWGR top 300. I’m not sure what his PGA Tour status is, but it can’t be great. Hoffman has a chance to help Watney win a two-year exemption. (And entry to the Masters, etc.? Can someone help me here?)
How about Patricks Reed and Cantlay? Reed is going to be in the WGC events for a long time; Cantlay could sure use a win to boost his comeback from injury.
You get the point. Now, I’m not comparing Ian Poulter to a man who can’t afford to buy a tire, but it might have been nice if Rory had postponed his wedding to lend a hand to the cause of Poulter’s PGA Tour card.
An admission: I don’t even know the format of the event. Best ball? Simple combined scores. Whatever the case, I no longer hate the event as much as I probably should. What harm is there in doing something weird? After all, Arnie’s next-to-last Tour win was in an event called the National Team Championship in 1971, where he prevailed despite his albatross-around-the-neck teammate, Jack Nicklaus.