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CanOpen "incentivized"

Dave Perkins of the Toronto Star writes a scathing assault on Tim Finchem and the RCGA in regards to next year’s Canadian Open date that follows the British Open.

Perkins points to the U.S. television deal as a huge stumbling block for the event:

For sure, one thing that needs to change — and Finchem says they are “in discussion” on it — is to get a Canadian television carrier for 2007. Currently it’s CBS on the weekend and the Golf Channel on Thursday and Friday. The Golf Channel, as we know, was recently shunted over to the digital world by some Canadian TV cable-guys; most places, you need to mine to find it. We’ll require a Canadian broadcaster; we can’t rely on CBS to show us Weir tapping in, much less James Lepp.

He sums up the situation nicely, including the RCGA’s apparent disdain for Canadian golf designers. And some say I’m hard on the RCGA. Wait for it, here it comes…

In the meantime, the RCGA wraps itself in the Canadian flag, pleads for patriotism from chroniclers and even asked for a million bucks in walking around cash from the federal government — which was denied and properly so. But the RCGA also hires a U.S.-based company to find a U.S.-based sponsor that wants exposure on U.S. television. It also promotes U.S. designers for courses coming in Montreal and, one day, Calgary, where it hopes to rotate the Open on some kind of annual basis.

But all that’s for later. For the present, it’s a nice field on a terrific old course. Fans should be incentivized.

Full story here.

Mike Grange at the Globe and Mail has a similar story with a similar theme:

Still, uncertainty reigns, so much so that PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem even made a rare appearance at the Canadian Open, ostensibly to put a positive spin on what on the surface seems a dire set of circumstances.

“We think in the long run that it is a positive move as opposed to staying in the fall, especially given the changes in our schedule,” Finchem said. “We think [it] . . . puts us in a position of being able to attract a field that’s consistent with the fields we’ve had up here the last few years.”

But even Vijay Singh, who is playing in his sixth consecutive Open, suggested his participation next year will be conditional.

And if Vijay Singh, a player who has been particularly dedicated o the event, doesn’t show up, the CanOpen might be lucky to have anyone inside the Top 50 whose name isn’t Ames or Weir. Source.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I appreciate some of Perkins’ thoughts but I don’t understand how he can criticise the RCGA for “promoting” a US designer for a course in Montreal. The developer selected Fazio above others, that’s capitalism. The owner, a obviously savy one, was smart enought to try and land the Open from day one. Good business move.
    It’s not like Hamilton was designed by a Canadian.

  • I am not sure what else the RCGA should do. As far as I can tell, all the fans want to see the ‘best’ players. By my count, most of the best players (Tiger, et al) are American. The Canadian Open is part of the PGA Tour, an organization based in the US. The Canadian Open is the only stop on the PGA Tour outside of the US.
    The driver of the Tour is American sponsors and US television.

    We can’t have it both ways. If the Canadian Open is to remain a PGA Tour stop, whether we like it or not, it needs to have a US focus, or, perhaps a US based vision (that is where the money, television, players and competition for players are). If on the other hand, we want to run a Canadian Open, with a lot of Canadian content then perhaps the event should not be on the PGA Tour. The problems with the media is they want it both ways. We want an event with Canadian players, with a preferred date, moved around the country, with a Canadian sponsor and with Canadian television as the producer, on Canadian courses, etc etc etc. Well that doesn’t match up with the vision of the PGA Tour, and rightly so. The PGA Tour is owned by the Tour players, a large majority of whom are American. They know what the drivers are (US Television, and US Sponsors).

    Why are we critical of that?? If the Canadian media were in Tim Finchem’s shoes, they would do exactly what he is doing. One PGA Tour event (the Canadian Open) can’t possibly negotiate with the PGA Tour with any kind of equal negotiating ability.

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