Time To Get Back To Golf
By JP McNaney
By now everyone involved in golf seems weary of the topic of LIV v PGA TOUR. Even reporters appear tired of asking the questions. Certainly, the players are tired of answering them.
At some point, we all need to get back to actually covering what happens inside the ropes. Graham McDowell has publicly stated he wished he had never spoken about it at all. Rory McIllroy told LIV Golf defectors ,“Don’t come back.”
Let’s be honest, the product inside the ropes in Portland, Oregon for LIV was okay, but not riveting. The John Deere Classic at least had the drama of being the last chance for some players to qualify for The Open Championship even if it doesn’t draw the highest ratings of the year.
It is much easier to just talk about the play while The Open Championship is taking place, but now that it is over, we need to keep the focus on the play.
The 3M Open should be the proving ground that we can, indeed talk about the golf.
With players like Jason Day, Master’s Champion Hideki Matsuyama, Brandt Snedeker, Stuart Cink and others well know players competing, there will be plenty of action to cover. If history is any indication, the 2022 edition should have a compelling finish on Sunday.
TPC Twin Cities, in Blaine, normally gives up lots of birdies and more than its share of bogies or worse. Packed leaderboards keep spectators’ attention all the way to the 72nd hole – if not more. With all the Majors complete, now the focus falls on the race for the season-ending FedEx Cup and the TOUR Championship.
This final stretch of the wrap around season produces drama every week. Players are literally playing to keep their jobs. The 3M Open is the start of that final push.
How will the younger players do?
Can a veteran get back into the winner’s circle?
Can anyone possibly catch Scotty Scheffler with his 1,000+ plus FedEx Cup points lead?
President Cup points are also on the line. With players like Dustin Johnson out (at least for now) who will become the next U.S. hero?
These are the types of questions that compel us to watch the PGA TOUR. These are the reasons players compete. These need to be where the golfing world’s collective mind need to reside.
I’ll admit, I watched the first LIV golf event, but was not able to watch the Portland event live. Guess what, I did not miss it. While I checked the highlights, it was not must-see TV… er… YouTube. I doubt I will go out of my way to catch the next event. Quite frankly, I would have to look it up to find out where and when it is.
Not really worth my time.
On the other hand, I knew exactly when The Open was. I even planned my breakfast for the final round while sitting by the pool on vacation the week before.
I know that there are only two more events after the 3M Open for players to make the FedEx Cup Playoffs. I know that I will be watching as much of the Rocket Mortgage Classic and the Wyndham Championship to get ready for the FedEx St. Jude, BMW and the TOUR Championships.
This is why, even though I said previously LIV Golf would survive, the PGA TOUR should come out on top if all goes to plan. The message from the PGA TOUR has been clear all along. Players compete for history as well as money. Leaders like McIllroy, Justin Thomas and Billy Herschel have expertly represented the TOUR’s position. If they stick to this message consistently, and ultimately produce a compelling product inside the ropes, the PGA TOUR will remain the dominant tour and garner most of the public’s attention.
I still think LIV will survive but might end up being more of a filler for those times of the year when the TOUR is less compelling.
So now that that’s settled (ok… so it’s not even close to being settled) I will happily focus all of my golf attention to the PGA TOUR. I will happily go back to talking about what’s happening on the course.
Let’s hope that’s the case anyway because we are all sort of sick of it.