Hogan Back in the News Here's a nominee for Comeback Player of the Year: Ben Hogan.
The legendary Texan may be back in some golf conversations this fall now that a new book, "Mr. Hogan, the Man I Knew," by Kris Tschetter with Steve Eubanks, hits the shelves. No matter how much time passes, interest in the Hogan legend never seems to fade.
Does the world need another Hogan book? Probably not. Will the world read another Hogan book? Undoubtedly. Hogan is the legend that somehow keeps us coming back for more.
David Martindale, writing for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, talked to Tschetter about the book, which she thinks Hogan would approve of. She played college golf at Texas Christian and was a member at Shady Oaks, Hogan's hangout, and that's where he became her mentor and friend, thus allowing her to provide an inside look at the real Hogan, who didn't like being gawked at by outsiders. Of course, since this book for pulls back the curtain on his life, Hogan might actually hate it, but who's to say? From Martindale's Q&A:
Why do you think people saw Hogan as being so aloof?
He was very private. But if he could have just met people without them always being so aware he was this legendary golfer, the famous Ben Hogan, I think he would have been more approachable. He rarely felt that people wanted to know him as a person. And his reputation kept people at a distance, too. I think one of the reasons we became friends was I didn't have that fear or reverence.
Given how much he valued his privacy, would he have objected to your writing a book?
I struggled with that for a while. But now that I've gotten so many comments from people who enjoyed seeing this different side of him, I am glad I did it. I think he would be pleased. I really believe that this hard, curt, cold man that people knew about, that was just the act; that was his protection.
Future of the Fall Series The Fall Series has always seemed doomed, ever since the FedEx Cup playoffs ousted those tournaments from the regular PGA Tour schedule and served them up as post-season leftovers that earn no FedEx Cup points or Masters invitations for the winners.
What's the future of fall golf for the Tour? There's a two-week break until the PGA Tour's season-ending event at Disney, but this week a tour-affiliated event is being played in Malaysia. Bob Harig of ESPN.com takes a hard look at the PGA Tour tiptoeing into Asia with the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic:
This week's event, the Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia, is the tour's foray into sanctioning a tournament in Asia. The motives for such a move remain murky when there are plenty of problems to address on the home front. Certainly trying to open new doors in an emerging growth market is behind this endeavor.
But it's hard to see the tournament as anything more than a big-money perk that might get a few guys over to the region before next week's HSBC Champions, the fourth World Golf Championship event of the year.
While Ernie Els described it as "a momentous occasion for the PGA Tour and Southeast Asia," it is difficult to envision going beyond this, certainly not like the European Tour's attempts to branch out around the world.
The Asia Pacific event, while co-sponsored by the PGA Tour along with the Asian Tour, has no official significance. Prize money will not count on the money list; a victory will not be official or bring with it a two-year exemption. It has just 40 players with a whopping $6 million purse and no cut.
The field is derived from the top 25 available on the final FedEx Cup standings, the top 10 from the Asian Tour and five sponsor exemptions. Among those who made the journey were Rickie Fowler and Retief Goosen. All of them are sticking around for next week's HSBC event in China, which also is not official money. But a victory counts if you are a PGA Tour member.
It's another case of the rich getting richer, another field of elite players only. Without the rank and file players and all of the regular tour stops, however, there would be no star-making mechanism for golf. It's something for golf to think about. How is PGA Tour golf in Asia going to help interest in tour golf in the U.S.? It's not. But Asia is where the money is right now and in this economy, golf has no choice but to follow the money.