Wednesday, July 30, 2008

There were 59 days between the final round of the Masters and the first round U.S. Open this year, and 31 between the fourth round at Torrey Pines and the first round at the British Open.
So why does the turnaround between the British Open and the PGA Championship, the season's final major, have to be so fast? This year, it's a scant 17 days, with a World Golf Championship event squeezed in between.
Stuart Appleby, who is playing this week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, said on Tuesday, "I would personally like to see the PGA another two to four weeks later." He went on to say, "We wait for the Masters so much, then we have a nice break 'til the [U.S.] Open, and then we get to the [British] Open, and only a handful of weeks later, really, and then we jam in the PGA sort of very, very close. I'd ideally like to see them spaced out relatively evenly. But then you might be clashing with TV ratings in other sports, so there is a TV functional reason why."
Starting the first Sunday in September, the NFL will cast a huge shadow over every other sports broadcast. Baseball may be our national pastime, but you don't want to get between a football fan and his TV, and, evidently, neither does the PGA. Beyond programming considerations, there are the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs, and this year the Ryder Cup, to work into the schedule before October.
What do you think of the schedule? Should golf's organizing bodies work together to space out the majors and playoffs more evenly, or is the rapid-fire string of big tournaments a great way for golf to stay relevant as U.S. sports fans turn their attention to football?

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