My latest Sympatico golf column is now online.
Here’s a taste:
The so-called “Fall Series” of events on the PGA Tour is dismissed by many as having no value and stirring even less interest.
To many, the PGA Tour ends after the PGA Championship in August, or perhaps following the conclusion of the FedEx Cup a month later. Watching PGA Tour pros desperately scramble to make the Top 125 on the money list and regain their privileges for next year interests only a handful of golfing diehards.
But the badly-named Frys.com tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona is proof the final events of the PGA Tour season can have life and excitement.
The final round of the Frys became a shoot-out between two-time All-American Jamie Lovemark, who turned pro at the RBC Canadian Open this summer, and Oklahoma State amateur sensation Rickie Fowler, who hit the PGA Tour following this summer’s Walker Cup. Of course, there was also 2002 NCAA champ Troy Matteson who won the tournament on the second playoff hole handing him his second victory at the Frys.com event. Not surprisingly, few are talking about Matteson; all eyes are on the two rising young stars who lost.
Of the pair, most expected Fowler to deliver on the promise he demonstrated as an amatuer, though few expected his rise to come so quickly. Over four rounds, which included two scores of 64, the former No. 1 amateur in the world for most of 2007 and 2008, demonstrated the skills “ long off the tee, amazing touch with his putter, and a tremendous amount of tenacity “ that will serve him well as a professional. It is almost hard to imagine Fowler, 20, turned pro in September at a Nationwide Tournament in Idaho, and has only played two PGA Tour events since that point “ finishing tied for seventh at Justin Timberlake’s Las Vegas tournament two weeks ago, and the tie for second at the Frys.com.