The Tiger and Phil Show -- a bad idea

Thursday June 5th, 2008

Having Tiger and Phil play in the same group at the U.S. Open is good for TV and the fans, but it re-enforces the idea that they are the only two truly marketable players in the game. Let them earn the right to play together in the final round on Sunday. Let them scuffle and hack their way through the deep rough to play together. 
Phil will grin and grind and play well against Tiger, but I think his competitive nature will cause him to try to match Tiger shot-for-shot. With the exception of, say, Bob May at the 2000 PGA, almost no one can match Tiger shot-for-shot in a major. Tiger will be the least impacted by the grouping. He's so focused on the shot at hand that he could be playing with Charles Barkley and it wouldn't matter. The pressure and attention will have the most impact on the third member of the group, Adam Scott, whose mediocre play in the majors will be on display for the world to see.
Ultimately, this grouping of the top 3 players is a gimmick worthy of legendary promoters like P.T. Barnum and Don King. If the U.S. Open were a circus or a boxing match, it would be excellent theater. But this is a golf tournament. When Nicklaus met Palmer or Trevino in a major, it meant they had made a weeklong journey to get to that point. You couldn't script it, you couldn't stage it, you just let them play golf.
** Cameron Morfit thinks this is a good idea.  Tell us what you think.

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