I’ve been on holiday for a few days with the kids and working on completing my book on Eagles Nest. In the meantime, here’s a column from earlier in the week on the Champions Tour event in Montreal. Anyone watching? Has it appeared successful on Golf Channel? Does anyone care?
Tom Lehman. Fred Couples. Corey Pavin. All major champions on the PGA Tour, and the type of golfers that David Skitt is counting on to draw fans to the inaugural Montreal Championship this week.
While it may have appeared to be a gamble when Skitt, tournament director for the event and an executive with Synchro Sports, decided to bring the Champions Tour to Montreal (the three-round tournament starts on Friday), it is a bet that looks like it might well pay off.
“It is exciting now that the players have started arriving,” Skitt said by phone from the course, Club de Golf Fontainebleau that will hold the event. “If we had a mediocre field in the first year, I think there might have been some issues. But the [PGA Tour] has helped us make this event into something more.”
“Something more” is impressive considering several big names have taken a pass. Skitt says Tom Watson sent a note saying he hoped to come next year, and the likes of Mark O’Meara and Ben Crenshaw are nowhere to be seen. But with Couples in the field – playing exceptionally well in his first season on the Champions Tour since turning 50 – and with Pavin nearly winning last week’s PGA Tour stop, there should be enough star power to interest golf-mad Quebecers.
“I look at it and say, ‘Man, I wish we could get the three or four guys we’re missing,'” Skitt says sighing.
“But I think we’ve done very well.”