Ford pulls out of Finchem's vision; Rolfing on Wie; and bad raters in Ireland

Lost in the midst of all this news about the new TV deal is that struggling car maker Ford has dropped its sponsorship from the tournament at Doral. The event is being replaced by the CA Championship, sponsored by Computer Associates, and will be part of the World Golf Championships. The auto industry, especially the domestic auto industry, is very important to the PGA Tour. With the struggles facing all of the Big Three, it is possible they pull away from pricey events like pro golf. It would be fascinating to see what wrench that would throw into Tim Finchem’s plans.

Mark Rolfing continues his astute insights into Michelle Wie on the Golf Channel this morning. In between offering congratulations to the Golf Channel for their part in the new TV deal (how many times can these guys pat themselves on the back?), Rolfing had this to say on Wie’s chances this week:

“She needs to make the lowest score she can on each hole and see if she can make the cut.”

Thanks for that insight, Mark. I assume she’s trying to make the lowest score on each hole. If she’s not, then she’s in the wrong sport. Apparently Rolfing also believes the Golf Channel’s participation in the TV deal is good for golf in Hawaii.

Rolfing is really pumped up about it, and not just because he’s employed by two of the parties involved in the televising PGA Tour golf.

“The thing I really like about it, the reason I think it is so good for Hawai’i, is the focus is going to be on The Golf Channel when they start and they’re really going to have to blow out these (first) two weeks,” Rolfing said. “They’re going to have to really promote it, make it a big deal and, in general, I think that will be good for the events. We sort of limped into the season last week (at Mercedes) and I think you’ll really see them go all out to make these things big.”

Ah, I get it. Tiger is going to now show up because the Golf Channel is televising the tournament! That’s all Finchem needed to fix golf’s problems � more Golf Channel.

While the National Post spends time talking about Mike Weir’s comeback (He’s healthy! He’s hitting it father! He’s happy!), the Globe and Mail uses a lot of column space for Lorie Kane. Kane, from PEI, says though she is now 41, she feels young and hasn’t reached her peak:

“I might be 41 according to the calendar, but I don’t feel 41,” she said. “I don’t know what 41 is supposed to feel like, but I feel like I’m in my late twenties or early thirties with my golf game. I’m still learning, I haven’t reached my potential yet.”

Kane is signing a sponsorship deal today, and I’m going down to lob a few softballs questions from the gallery.

Golf Digest Ireland has the world’s most ridiculous rankings list in its latest issue and apparently it is garnering some controversey. Why? Well because there were a disproportionate number of golfers that voted from the Republic, meaning the country’s best two courses — County Down and Portrush — didn’t even make the Top 10. And the K Club, with its awful bunkering and over done mounding as the best club in Ireland? Come on. If that were the case, why would anyone travel there to play? I’d just stay in Toronto and play Royal Woodbine if I wanted that experience.

Here’s the list, if you care:

For the record, the GDI Top 20 were: 1 K Club (Palmer); 2 The European Club; 3 Mount Juliet; 4 Portmarnock (Old); 5 Ballybunion (Old); 6 Ballyliffin (Glashedy); 7 Co Louth; 8 Druids Glen; 9 Co Sligo; 10 Lahinch (Old); 11 Royal Portrush (Dunluce); 12 Royal Co Down; 13 The Heritage; 14 Old Head of Kinsale; 15 Waterville; 16 The Island; 17 Royal Dublin; 18 Adare Manor (Resort); 19 Tralee; 20 Carton House (Montgomerie).

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