Friday, June 27, 2008

Week 2 PT (post Tiger)

Welcome to Week 2 PT (post Tiger). Thus far, Timmy Finchem et all who ride roughshod over the PGA Tour have been firing smokescreens about the fact that the Tour will have to survive without Woods for nine months.

This means that their Fed Ex Cup tournament run for millions in cash will have TV ratings analogous to a softball tournament on ESPN. Attendance will be down at each Tour stop until he returns. Sponsors will be apoplectic and will threaten to withdraw their sponsorship even if they have to break a contract.

I have one question about all of this, WHY?

Look at Woods’ playing schedule when he’s healthy. He never plays 20 times in this country, so the chances of him being on the field at a tournament are negligible at best. If you’re not in San Diego, Augusta, Georgia, Ponte Vedra, Florida, Miami, Akron, Ohio, the site du jour of the U.S. Open and PGA Championship, Washington, D.C. for the tournament he stole from Colorado, you’re not going to see him anyway. Just by his attitude, you can tell he really doesn’t care a whole lot about the PGA Tour. It’s time he’s treated in like kind.

Oh yeah, the Ryder Cup, I almost forgot about that. Right, it’s like they don’t already have enough guys with losing records like his to take his place. Sorry for the lack of tears.

It’s time people realize that the PGA Tour isn’t a one man band. Tiger may win a heavy percentage of the tournaments he enters, but he doesn’t win them all. In fact, he doesn’t win half of them, but he gets all the credit.

This year heroes were made of Paul Goydos and Rocco Mediate and they lost. Honest folks, there are a lot of guys out there just as worthy of your attention. Anthony Kim should blossom into a great player. Boo Weekley, the Tour’s version of Larry the Cable Guy is a great story and he plays almost every week. You can actually follow him and not wait around until he shows up. Camilo Villegas is about to bloom as a wonderful player. I guess if you don’t like a bit of a swagger and a lot of charisma, he may not be for you.

Then, there’s the rest of the Top 20. Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk and company are great players in their own right. I think it high time we all realize there’s more than one player on the Tour and Timmie and the boys would be well served to address that fact.


There’s one thing for sure, very few people if any are on the fence when they think about NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller. I’ve almost always been in the former camp, although a recent apology he issued has caused some misgivings.

During the US Open coverage, Miller referred to Rocco Mediate as “Tiger’s pool boy” and that “guys named Rocco don’t get their names on the trophy.” It seems that a couple of Italian anti-defamation groups thought those remarks were aimed at Mediate’s heritage.

I don’t know about you, but I have never heard of any stigma attached to being a “pool boy.” Come to think of it, I used to play golf with a guy that owned a pool maintenance business. He wasn’t Italian, but I would have loved to swap paychecks with him. Also, for the record, no one named Rocco has ever won the U.S. Open, ergo the name Rocco isn’t on the trophy. He didn’t win the playoff so there still isn’t.

What is the big deal here? Even Rocco said he wasn’t the slightest bit offended by what Miller said. The thing that bothers me is that he had to apologize and sadly he apologized on the day the world learned of the death of George Carlin, a brilliant comedian who personified free speech. The irony is just dreadful.

Bartender, just a draught beer please. Make it a Miller Lite, because that’s what Johnny’s words are when the network makes him apologize for them.

See you on the first tee,


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