That picture creeps me out.
But I digress.
Sure, Scott Piercy and Billy Horschel came away with the win; rallying from three shots back with a final round 67 in Alternate Shot on Sunday to defeat Jason Dufner and Pat Perez by one. If you scratch just a little bit deeper below the surface though, the real fun came from the discussions AFTER the tournament was over.
First, takes from others. Then, what I think.
There’s no denying players seem to enjoy this event. Not only did they get into the music and strategy aspects of it all, by appearing alone they’ve lent credence to an event that could easily have been a one-and-done if not for this type of growing support.
In the events first iteration, 2016, there were four representatives present from the top-30 in the Official World Golf Rankings. This year there were six from the Top-Ten, 10 out of the Top-15, and 18 out of the Top-30. So that’s a definite win.
In terms of other hopes and dreams for the future, Tournament Director Steve Worthy has two ideas in mind:
First and foremost, he wants the winners to receive Invitations to compete in The Masters, just as all other PGA Tour winners receive. He also would love a day when, players willing, those competing would be mic’ed up for the week. One other idea that was floated by PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, was that of a duel LPGA/PGA Event.
What do I think? Well in response to those ideas: NO MASTERS EXEMPTION!
Just wanted to make myself clear. This is a non-starter in my opinion and hopefully for the players too. The Masters is not only the most exclusive event on Tour, its also the smallest field (involving a cut) all season and rightly so. Augusta National, and The Masters, is the most prestigious and quite frankly, pretentious, event on Tour. Getting there by winning a team event, just doesn’t sit right with me. Take for example what Scott Piercy said about his game this week. I’m paraphrasing, but he essentially said he didn’t play that well and was just trying to hit greens because Billy (Horschel) was putting so well. Should a guy get an invite to the best tournament on planet earth because he can hit some greens? No Siree, Bob. The Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup (to a lesser degree) are fantastic team events, and deserve all the fanfare and praise they get, but we’re not about to let a whole winning team from there into Augusta, are we?
Oh, and mics on the guys would be WONDERFUL. But, I don’t see the players allowing that any time soon. I’d love to be proven wrong though.
As for MY ideas on improving the week? A few simple things might be worth a try.
One: let the walk-up music play longer! Rolling it for 5-10 seconds after announcing a players name and then cutting it off before they hit, is just awkward and strange. When I pictured this, I thought it would be playing as they walk up to the tee, as they hit, and as they walk off the tee. The way they have it now, lends itself to a lot of awkwardness.
Overall though, despite a lot of backlash, I do like the idea of walk-up music and although I hope its tweaked, I don’t want to see it removed.
Shout out Ben Crane, Alex Cejka, and Rob Oppenheim for providing some of the cringiest moments ever witnessed on a golf course.
On the other side of the coin, well done by Kevin Kisner. Charley Hoffman followed suit as well, so props to Harry Dunne’s doppelganger.
It would be different for just about every sport, but the two that come to mind are:
The Caddyshack Theme Song (Starting around 1:10 mark)
Or, the Canadian in me leads, for whatever reason, to this gem:
No further description needed. Except yes, of course I’d pick a part that avoids the F-Bombs.
Another idea? If you’re going to have different formats, do something different every single day. The amount of strategy involved is probably the most interesting aspect of the team thing, to me at least, and I’ve heard a lot of complaints about Alternate Shot on the final day. What if, in addition to Best Ball and Alternate Shot, they had one round (Sunday ideally for excitement) be Scramble, and have one round something else. Or, do the first two rounds Modified Stableford, and then reset for the weekend. These aren’t the best ideas, or the most flushed out, but I think Alternate Shot or full Best Ball, are a tad boring on a final round Sunday.
For more thoughts like these — give this week’s podcast a listen: