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Greed over glory?
PGA Tour faces threat
Good morning, all! It’s Friiidddaaayyyy!!!!!
Imagine you are golfer Phil Mickelson. You have won 44 PGA Tour events. You have won five major championships, including The Masters three times. But on June 16, you will turn 51. In other words, your best money earning days on the tour are behind you. Yes, there is the over-50 PGA Champions Tour, and you have already won two tournaments on that circuit, but the days of the big paycheck are dwindling. Then along comes an outside group, prepared to challenge the entrenched PGA Tour, guaranteeing you between $30 and $50 million dollars. What do you do?
That is the “dilemma” Mickelson and other high-profile professional golfers are facing, if stories on various websites are to be believed. A new super or premier golf league, with backing from groups based in Saudi Arabia, have reportedly reached out to among others: Mickelson, Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Justin Rose, to join the league. Offers of between $30-$50 million have been made. Rory McIlroy supposedly turned down an offer, before the pandemic put the concept on hold. Now the hope is to launch the league in September of 2022.
Under the set-up, the golfers would be part of 12 four-person teams and travel the world, competing in between 15 to 18 tournaments. The PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is already striking back. Reportedly, Monahan would impose an immediate suspension and lifetime ban on any player who jumps the tour for the new one.
You can understand Monahan’s concern on several fronts, including the recent TV deal signed between The Tour and several television networks totaling into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Those deals would be neutered, if the big names kissed the PGA Tour good-by.
There has been precedent in this area, of course. Twenty-something years ago, an effort was made to lure big name golfers to a competing tour and it failed. After World War II, big money organizers of the Mexican League attempted to lure major league baseball’s top players for big bucks, but that effort also collapsed, when the commissioner issued the same threat as Monahan.
But make no mistake, the PGA Tour is facing a serious threat that makes the 18th at Pebble Beach look like a miniature golf hole. All it takes is one big name player to jump. We should know soon, if greed wins out over glory!
Great Trivia Question
Heard a great trivia question the other night. One big league manager has led five teams to the post season. Only two have guided four teams to the post season. Name them? Answer below.
Happy Birthday Willie Mays
Baseball great Willie Mays turned 90 on Thursday. In his prime, he was the best player. In fact, this past week marked the 60th anniversary of his four-home run game against the Milwaukee Braves at County Stadium.
Lo these many years ago, when I was a teenager, I interviewed Willie Mays, after he had been traded from the Giants to the Mets. I was nervous as can be, and the interview was not that great. But at least I got the chance to interview him. Happy Birthday, Willie!
In with Kenny, out with Marv?
Word is Kenny Albert, the versatile sports broadcaster on FOX and NBC will be the new voice of the NHL on Turner Sports, when part of that league’s television package switches from NBC to Turner next season. Albert is 53. Meanwhile, there are reports that his dad, the venerable Marv Albert, who will turn 80, is in his last season calling NBA games for Turner Sports. Of course, it was Marv who made the call “Yes” famous, when a player would bury a big basket.
Dusty Baker has guided five clubs into the post season: San Francisco, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati, Washington and Houston. Billy Martin (Minnesota, Detroit, New York Yankees, Oakland) and Dave Johnson (New York Mets, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Washington) have led four clubs into the post season.
Well, that is it for this week. I hope you have a splendid weekend and as always thank you for your support!