Thursday, September 06, 2007

What Playoffs?

No Phil at Cog Hill. Last week’s Deutsche Bank champion and FedExCup Points leader will sit out the third leg of the PGA Tour Playoffs to spend some time with his family.

In stark contrast to other playoffs where athletes play hurt, tired and homesick, golfers don’t have a team to let down. They’re not under any contractual obligation to play, and the uninspired abstention of the sport’s elite players undoubtedly will take its toll on public interest and enthusiasm in the fledgling competition.

In a sport where the four Majors are still the benchmark for success among peers and the public alike, it’s clear PGA professionals don’t have the buy-in necessary to create a groundswell. And if last week’s pseudo-match-play ending between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson didn’t create a buzz, it’s unlikely much else will.

What are your thoughts on the PGA Playoffs? Are you disappointed that high-profile players — including Woods, Mickelson and Ernie Els — have skipped tournaments? Is the players’ ambivalence a result of the PGA’s failure to court their opinions?

— David Frabotta

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