Finchem Gives State of the Tour Address

By Mercer BaggsOctober 31, 2001, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem gave the annual State of the Tour address Wednesday at the Champions Golf Club, site of this weeks Tour Championship in Houston, TX.
Finchem spoke on a myriad of topics; including the strength of the tour, title sponsors, security, the Senior PGA Tour and the Buy.Com Tour.
The PGA Tour is stronger than it has ever been, said Finchem. And over the next five years, it will be stronger still.
Finchem stated that television ratings have continued to rise, some 7 percent over 2000, 11 percent over 1999. He added that the tours fan base has also increased from around 96 million Americans to almost 110 million over the last twelve months.
In July, the tour signed a television deal worth nearly $1 billion. Since, there has been a growing concern over tournament sponsorship, as the tour looks for title sponsors to commit some $5 to $8 million each of the next four years.
Recently, Canon, Advil and Air Canada have ended their sponsorship associations with the tour.
We just sent out contracts to our tournament organizations in the last 30 days, Finchem said. We have just begun, in the last 30 days, specific discussions with our title sponsors for the next four years.
We have already gotten commitments of renewal for well over half of those sponsors. There is no question in my mind that, regardless of the recession, that our tournaments will be fully sponsored. I think I can say that unequivocally.
Finchem cited for his confidence, There are caps on the networks as to what they can charge our title sponsors for television over the next four years. This is a key ingredient of our negotiations. It assures that the cost to our title sponsors is going to be very reasonable in the coming years.
Also, we have a stronger fan base. We have higher ratings and we have (comparatively) a very reasonable cost to pass on to our title sponsors.
Thanks to the new television agreement, next years prize money is expected to go from about $180 to $200 million.
Finchem added, I think it is not unreasonable to assume that our prize money would grow to somewhere upwards of $300 million by the end of the (four-year) cycle.
Finchem also addressed one of the primary issues in recent weeks - player and fan security.
We have taken steps in a number of areas because of reevaluations (after Sept. 11) that have gone on, and are going on with respect to security. The ones that we have announced include the fact that we will not allow, on property, backpacks or packages of any significant size and we will search smaller parcels and carry-on things into the tournament specifically. Those procedures are being implemented today.
They are not being implemented at a level of sophistication that we are comfortable with yet, but we are getting there. We also will have, certainly starting the first part of this next season, significant increase (of uniformed police officers) in the ingress and egress at secured areas for players.
Another topic was that of how to stimulate further interest in the Senior PGA Tour. One of the issues brought up was that of lowering the age limit from 50 to perhaps 45 or 48.
I am going to recommend to our board, that it is important that we increase the percentage of players who play (on the Senior Tour), who played full careers on the PGA Tour. And there are some ways to do that. But thats only one part of the puzzle.

I hope to have something specific to say about a dozen different things here at the end of the year. But I do not envision an age change being a part of that.
As for the Buy.Com Tour, Finchem said, As you know, the Buy.Com Company has filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour. Unfortunately, their business has failed or is in a failing position. Well obviously transition to a new sponsor as early as the first quarter of 2002, as late as but not later than the first quarter of 2003. I hope to have more to say about that in a few weeks as well.
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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

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Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

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Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

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Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

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Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.