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  • As The Season Starts To Slip Away

    29 Sep 2009

    By Peter Kessler

    Tiger could have skipped the first three events of the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs and still been seeded 3rd for the finals. He didn’t know it, the Commissioner of The PGA TOUR, Tim Finchem, didn’t know it. Oh, boy, I hear tomorrow’s news.
     
    Which Beatles album should you buy to see if you like the new redigitized versions of their catalogue? Abbey Road.
     
    If Monty, the 2010 Euro Ryder Cup Captain, doesn’t stop trashing his players and the media, no will be speaking to him by the autumn of next year.  And if he doesn’t get selected to the World Golf Hall of Fame for 2010 he will howl and scream and kick and squeal and be a big target for us to throw barbs and darts at.
     
    The big question this year about the playoffs was: does golf lend itself to playoff formulas and the answer is that it does. Here’s why: every great player in the world showed up for seven of the last nine events. We don’t care what the events are called, we don’t care where they are, we don’t care about the prize money or the trophies or the gathering of points, we just want the great ones to be there and they were.
     
    In the second to last playoff event Brandt Snedeker, one of the TOUR’s best putters, four putted from twelve feet to throw away a cluster of major appearances and millions of dollars. This tells us that the players think the playoffs are important and therefore so should we.
     
    The Playoffs were structured so that one player could have had a putt worth $11.35 million on the last hole of the last tournament of the season. No one has ever putted for that much money before.
     
    Winning a major championship doesn’t get you an automatic invite to the President’s Cup team. Lucas Glover won the US Open but has to rely on a wild card selection to get in. Time for a rethink of how the team is put together.
     
    I still think Tom Watson should have been a selection for the U.S. side. More people will show up to watch Watson play than to watch Hunter Mahan play. It’s that simple. Watson is much more fun, more telegenic, a better story, and in many ways has had a better year.
     
    I was once kicked out of the USGA museum for spending too much time in their library.
     
    Is Michelle Wie the future of the LPGA? Is Paula Creamer the goods?  Is Natalie Gulbis ever really going to win tournaments?  We can say all of the politically correct things we feel we need to but what is going to happen to the popularity of the LPGA if the best players in the world, say the top five, are from outside of the United States?
     
    There are no fifth majors. The Players Championship is the first Players, not the fifth something, the Fed Ex Cup is the first of its kind, The Ryder Cup and The President’s Cup unique.  Nicklaus and Palmer should play all 18 at Augusta National next April instead of hitting one shot off of the 1st tee. Everyone wants to see them play, so let them. Up tees, carts, zillions of fans.  Brittany Lincicome and I are fast friends on Facebook. Eat your heart out.
     
    Other than you get an Olympic medal and you get to say you were an Olympian and walked with the other American Olympians in the stadium what selfless reasons are there to have golf in the Olympics?

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