So Tiger Woods will likely win the inaugural FedEx Cup. But he’ll [photopress:eastlake.jpg,full,alignright]do it without rolling the rock on grass apparently.
East Lake in Atlanta, site of the tournament, has greens without grass. That means the PGA Tour has had to make some fascinating and unprecedented moves:
Record heat over the last month in Atlanta has caused so much damage to the greens at East Lake that PGA Tour officials cancelled the pro-am at the Tour Championship and told players they would not be able to set foot on the greens until the first round Thursday.
It was an unprecedented move to essentially eliminate practice before one of the tour’s showcase event, and it could spoil the finale of a FedEx Cup competition that so far has produced riveting golf.
“They don’t need this to be an issue,” Geoff Ogilvy said. “It’s a shame.”
Sure a lot of players will already know East Lake, but one has to think the Gods are against PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem at this point. First Tiger skips the first event. Then Phil skips the second. And just when things look to be back on the rails, the Tour Championship is being played at a course without grass. Finchem must feel someone (Mickelson?) has placed a curse on him.
According to the tour:
“All greens were impacted to varying degrees, and several greens are and will remain in poor conditions through the tournament.”
Not everyone is happy with the tour’s decision to stay the course so to speak:
Tour player Robert Allenby was not sympathetic to the club’s troubles. “They’ve had all year to prepare and to say it’s not ready is pretty disappointing, especially for a major event. We’ve come down to the final event and it’s a non-event. It could be Mickey Mouse. Who knows what the greens are going to be like?” (source)
As ESPN’s Bob Harig notes, the situation can’t get much worse:
So the show will go on, but with another blight. At The Barclays, it was the absence of Woods and mediocre crowds for the first-ever playoff event. At the Deutsche Bank, it was the absence of Els plus Phil Mickelson’s veiled criticism of PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. At the BMW, it was Mickelson’s no-show and the tournament’s leaving Chicago every other year.
Now this. A player could have a putt on the 18th green at East Lake to win a $10 million bonus — and it might not resemble a putt or a green at all.
Maybe a sense of humor is in order.
“I don’t think it’ll matter to the public,” Mark Calcavecchia said. “We’ll have a tournament. Somebody is going to win. Someone is going to finish 30th. And I think I know who the favorite for that position is.”
The full story is here.
Oh, and if you’re a betting golf fan, you might want to consider this man as the likely winner of the first FedEx Cup. I’m sure he’s excited about the $10 million annuity, especially given the $100 million contract he signed with Gatorade last week.
Personally I’m finding it really difficult to care about this at all now. What’s your take?