THANKS AGAIN TRAVELERS
This morning, a list of names: Jimmy Walker, Ryan Moore, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, Vijay Singh, Ian Poulter, Gary Woodland, Ryo Ishikawa, Jason Bohn and Charles Howell III. Those are the top ten in the PGA Tour’s Fed Ex Cup standings. Without most of you even realizing it the countdown to the Travelers Championship is already underway. So, where, you may ask, are the players who most frequently dominate the Fed Ex Cup top ten?
The PGA Tour’s new format, a wraparound 45 week, 43 event schedule, includes a fall season that follows the four event Fed Ex Cup playoff that culminates in the Tour Championship in mid September. The fall season begins after the alternating Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup international tournaments. This week the Tour is in St. Simons Island, Georgia for the McGladrey Classic, but, once the Fed Ex Cup playoffs are over even some of the most ardent golf fans consider the season to be over as well. They’ll be glued to the Ryder or Presidents Cup but, once they start putting their own clubs away they lose track of golf, forgetting the new Tour season has begun.
For years the season started in January with the two events in Hawaii, the limited field Tournament of Champions followed by the first full field event of the year. Even some of those usual suspects seem to forget they could be earning Fed Ex Cup points already, and they’ll find themselves well down in the standings when they finally get involved. Tiger Woods and U.S. Open champ Justin Rose are in Turkey this weekend, picking up some appearance money in the Turkish Airlines Open, as is Fed Ex Cup champ Henrik Stenson. Adam Scott is playing in the Australian PGA, his first event in his native country since becoming the first Australian to win the Masters. For Open Championship champ and noted family man Phil Mickelson the fall portion of the schedule is an opportunity to devote some time to Amy and the kids.
Meanwhile, at the McGladrey, only one golfer currently in the top ten in the world is entered, Matt Kuchar, at number eight, with only two others from the top 20, Zach Johnson, at 13th, and Webb Simpson, at 19th. Even with Davis Love III as the tournament host, this is the best field the McGladrey could command.
Now, let me give you another list of names: Ted May, Roger Gelfenbein, Dan Kleinman, the members of the Greater Hartford Community Foundation who were given a short window in 2007, 72 hours, working from scratch, with no date and no sponsor, to put together a tournament to fill a hole in the Tour schedule, after we had already lost our sponsor, Buick, and our date. Travelers CEO Jay Fishman and Travelers CAO Andy Bessette, who answered the call and already had a sponsorship proposal in place.
Thanks to these men we’ll once again see you in June at the TPC River Highlands for the PGA Tour Travelers Championship. Without them, those events on the new PGA Tour fall schedule that are attracting watered down fields and little attention, that would be us.
With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.