Hey, Kobe! I'm open!
One of the many disappointments of Tiger Woods missing the next several tournaments is that we won't get to see a rematch of last year's Tiger Woods-Michael Jordan pairing that filled grandstands during the Wachovia pro-am as if it were a major and included gems like Jordan's mock fist-pump.
But really, is there any weirder event in pro sports than the pro-am?
I see the entertainment appeal of Bill Murray teeing it up with PGA Tour stars, and I get that pro-ams make a lot of money for the Tour, but Phil Mickelson playing with a couple of rich locals the Wednesday before a tournament is just bizarre. Imagine if Kobe Bryant had to play two-on-two with some fans before a Lakers game, or if the NFL asked Brett Favre to throw passes to a Green Bay bank president in a touch-football game at Lambeau Field.
Not that I'm against them—pro-ams are a good reminder that the pre-corporate Tour was more like a traveling carnival than the sober, solemn grind that plays out on my TV each weekend. But one thing is clear: a lot of pros don’t like playing in them. Watch the pros' faces as their amateur partners tee off: some of them could be extras in Day of the Living Dead.
So what do you think? Ban the pro-am and let players prepare for the main event, or save the pro-am as a vestige of a more laid-back (and maybe more fun) PGA Tour? Join the debate below.
(Photo: Chuck Burton/AP)