When the 2 biggest names in men’s golf don’t show up for the 1st PGA tournament of the year, which is supposed to showcase the past winners from last year, what should the PGA do? What about the sponsor of the tournament Mercedes, which is in its last year of its contract? Apparently, neither Tiger nor Phil liked the greens at Kapulua, but the golf course just redid them all to make them better.
For the PGA, it’s a very tough call. I don’t blame Tiger or Phil — the length of the PGA season has gotten way out of hand. Do we really need 3 Hawaii tournament within the span of 2 1/2 months? Who knows, maybe if Phil and Tiger didn’t play in the Grand Slam at Poipu Bay, they might have room in their schedules for the Mercedes? And do we really need to start the PGA season in the beginning of January? On the other hand, the sponsor of the tournament loses out for not having the marquee names, like Tiger, Phil, Retief, or Ernie this year. So do the fans, not to mention the TV network airing the tournament.
So what’s the solution? Maybe start the season later, I don’t know. That would negate both Tiger’s (tired) and Phil’s (family) excuses of not showing. I wouldn’t like to see the PGA forcing players to play in certain tournaments — that would be a drag. For more analysis, the Honolulu Star Bulletin has this excellent article.