Time to cut Tournaments
April 29, 2013
By Dan Daly
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Congratulations to Billy Horschel. Not for winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans but for quickly becoming the FIGJAM of his generation. A wise man once said, “There is a fine line between confident and cocky” and Billy Horschel is quickly blurring that line. I do respect the fact that he plays fast, and he is obviously very good at golf; the problem is, he is clearly not afraid to let you know the latter. I don’t know how to explain the difference between confident and cocky other than to say you know it when you see it, and with Billy Horschel…you clearly see it.
“It's finally to the point where I felt like I was in college. I always had a chance to win at every college event. I was always in the top 10. You can go back and look at the record book.” --Billy Horschel
It also annoys me that his nickname is “BillyHo”; which is obviously a blatant rip off of White Men Can’t Jump and is a disgrace to the great Billy Hoyle.
Anyway, the bigger issue in my opinion is the quality of golf tournaments the PGA Tour spits out some weeks. Sure most of them are close, and thus by default dramatic I guess, but that doesn’t make them good. This is the second time in a month that D.A. Points and Billy Horschel have battled it out for a PGA Tour title. No thanks.
Look, I realize that not every week can be The Masters or the US Open, but we have to do something about some of these second and third tier tournaments. Some of them are unwatchable and I really like to watch golf; so I can’t even fathom how bad they are to the average or even above average golf fan. I know they raise a lot of money for charities and I am all for that, but I also subscribe to the less is more theory like most of the country.
There is a reason baseball is a dying sport (162 games) and football is the most popular sport in America (16 games). The PGA Tour could stand to lose some of these tournaments and even throw in a bye week here and there.
Obviously the four Majors, The Players Championship, the WGC events and the FedEx Cup playoffs are top tier events, no need to address those; although the FedEx Cup Playoffs could stand to use a little tweaking. Anyway, as for the rest of the year, there is definitely some areas they could stand to cut the fat.
Since there are too many to cover at once I will cover Part One below and follow up with Part Two in the weeks to come. I know you will be on the edge of your seats.
Hyundai Tournament of Champions– I guess you have to start somewhere, might as well be Hawaii. Problem is, the tournament of champions is basically like the NFL Pro Bowl now; no one good really plays in it anymore. You go for a few years because it’s a free trip to Hawaii and you earned your way there, but then it’s old hat after a few years.
Sony Open – Let’s just delete this tournament altogether and start a week later.
Humana Challenge – Brain Gay shot 300 under par and outlasted David Lingmerth and Charles Howell in a playoff…no thanks. So actually we can start the season two weeks later. I don’t think anyone will mind.
Farmers – Torrey Pines, San Diego, great field, played the bye between the Championship Games and the Super Bowl. Perfect starting point for the real season.
Phoenix Open – At least is has the most exciting hole on the PGA tour all year, has a decent field, and runs the weekend of the Super Bowl which allows for some really fun prop bets.
Pebble Beach Pro-Am – Although this will never be as cool as the Bing Crosby Invitational (read the book, The Match) it does have a great field and is played on a perfect course to officially transition into golf season the week after the Super Bowl. If we can just get rid of Ray Ramono and George Lopez all would be right in the world.
Northern Trust – Riviera Country Club. What else do you need to know?
The Honda Classic – I assure there is nothing “Classic” about this golf tournament. We would never hear the term “Bear Trap” again and I think we are all more than ok with that. Sorry Jack.
Tampa Bay Championship – See above and substitute “Bear Trap” for “Snake Pit.”
Tavistock Cup – This is not an official PGA Tournament and is played on a Monday and Tuesday. That’s the problem, it should be an official tournament and played over four days. I would much rather watch four days of this than 99% of the tournaments they play each year. Sadly most people don’t even know this tournament exists.
Shell Houston Open – When they move this back to the week before the Masters this is actually a great tournament with the field it attracts and the course they play.
Valero Texas Open – When they move this back to two weeks before the Masters it will still suck.
Heritage – Other than Boo Weekley winning this tournament a few times this is a great chance for our first bye week coming off the Masters.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans – Unless Jason Dufner is going to win every year, no thanks.
Quail Hollow – Hands down the best “second tier” tournament they play all year. Between the field, the golf course and Webb Simpson’s wedding reception being held there everything about this tournament is spectacular. Well, except for the horrible “Green Mile” reference you will hear ad nauseam. Despite the horrible name, they are probably the best stretch of closing holes they play on tour all year.
That brings up to this week’s event and concludes Part One of my soap box on the PGA Tour schedule. At least we get two great tournaments back to back.
Until Next Week,