Favorite/least favorite thing on 2013 Tour schedule

By Ryan LavnerOctober 30, 2012, 3:32 pm

The PGA Tour has released its schedule for the 2013 season. Because the Fall Series will now be the start of the following season, next year will feature a shorter schedule than normal. Our writers chime in with their thoughts on what they like and don't like about the condensed schedule.

By RANDALL MELL

There’s a lot to like with the PGA Tour’s evolving schedule, but there is a glaring shortcoming.

While we’re going to continue to see a big-bang finish with the FedEx Cup playoffs, we still lack the big-bang start.

The Hyundai Tournament of Champions is a solid event, but even its Monday finish won't give the PGA Tour that grand-opening feel. It doesn’t have that special feeling that Opening Day gives Major League Baseball, and that’s a shame. The PGA Tour sort of eases into its schedule instead of starting it with a fireworks show.

While next year’s newly configured fall package will make the start of the 2014 season mean more with FedEx Cup points at stake, it still doesn’t create a heightened sense of anticipation for the start of a new season the way Opening Day does in baseball. At least, it doesn’t as it is imagined.

Give me the Accenture Match Play Championship as the season opener. Give me a World Golf Championship event like that one with the top 64 players in the world competing with the win-or-go-home component, and you'll put a jolt of excitement into the new season’s start.


By JASON SOBEL

OK, so let me get this straight: In its infinite wisdom, the PGA Tour years ago understood that its late-season product couldn’t succeed against the machine that is college and professional football, so executives decided to scale back the schedule under the guise of giving its players a true offseason by implementing the FedEx Cup playoffs, then built in more tournaments after the season was “over,” thereby contradicting its own intention for some downtime and starting next year the newest campaign will come directly after the previous one finishes, creating a never-ending cycle of golf that breeds both familiarity and contempt rather than offering both the players and the consumers a fresh, new, interesting product on the course.

That’s pretty much it, right?

The decision to begin the 2014 season just weeks after the 2013 season is completed is akin to a World Series champion heading to Spring Training while still soaked in champagne. For whatever reason, the PGA Tour has chosen to saturate the market, its obvious approach apparently being that quantity beats quality. Someone needs to tell the folks in PVB executive offices that one of the reasons they wanted to get away from football season is that its popularity is largely based on being a five-month-a-year sport. Miss a game and you’ve missed something big. Miss a PGA Tour event and there will always be another one the next week.

Anyway, that’s my least favorite thing about the upcoming schedule, in case you couldn’t tell.

What’s my favorite thing about it? An extra built-in bye week.

Next year the pros will receive a week off after the first two FedEx Cup playoff events and before the last two, splitting the Deutsche Bank Championship and BMW Championship. Then, following the Tour Championship, another bye week before two dozen of the game’s best head to Muirfield Village for the Presidents Cup.

I know. These guys aren’t digging ditches and players who complain about not getting enough breaks come off as whiners. But let’s face it: More players are not only going to play all four events and the Presidents Cup with built-in bye weeks, but play them well. I like that decision. See? Sometimes less can actually be more.


By RYAN LAVNER

The truncated 2013 PGA Tour schedule features few surprises, which is to be expected, with the most radical changes in Tour history – a new qualifying format, split-calendar season, maybe even an anchoring ban – looming in 12 months.

If there is a nit to pick, however, it is this: The Shell Houston Open, which has served as the unofficial tune-up for the Masters since 2007, will now have a new date that figures to hurt the event.

Tournament officials have embraced the week-before-the-Masters slot, turning Redstone Golf Club into Augusta National-lite, with shaved mounds around the greens, slick putting surfaces and mowing patterns from green to tee box. Phil Mickelson has played the lead-in event each year since 2008, and Ernie Els, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Charl Schwartzel are among the players who have turned up in Humble, Texas, for one final test before the year’s first major.

Unfortunately, with the March 28-31 date, two weeks before Augusta, the SHO likely won’t attract the same caliber of field. Instead, it’ll be up to the folks at the Valero Texas Open to simulate the Augusta experience.


By REX HOGGARD

Let’s call them faux PGA Tour cards, at least that will be the reality if not the official company line from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

To be fair, the transition to a split-calendar Tour schedule will be a “one off” anomaly, rectified with the beginning of the 2013-14 season in October. In the short term, however, there will be the loss of four Fall Series events and the Mayakoba Golf Classic, which will move from the spring when it was played opposite the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship to the fall and the start of the new season.

In practical terms it means a loss of over 600 playing opportunities in 2013, or about five events per player according to one Tour official. For some that will mean the difference between keeping a Tour card or heading back to the circuit’s redesigned qualification process.

Eight events will increase their field sizes in 2013 and the Tour will limit the number of unrestricted sponsor exemptions tournaments can dole out in an attempt to mitigate the loss, but it will be the equivalent of bringing a spork to a knife fight.

The condensed schedule could also be aggravated by a larger-than-normal Q-School class and an onslaught of player utilizing a major medical exemption. The end result will be one of the most demanding schedules in recent memory, particularly for those playing out of the Web.com Tour/Q-School category.

The Tour will not call it a “Tour card Light,” but it should.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.