SAN FRANCISCO — Sports Illustrated’s Gary Van Sickle recently talked on the phone with our anonymous pro, who occasionally guest-stars in PGA Tour Confidential. He had some interesting things to say about the Fall Series and the Presidents Cup.
SI: Turning Stone had some autumn weather last week, that’s for sure.
Anonymous Pro: I was talking with someone from the tournament there, and I’ve heard that tournament may actually be moving back two more weeks on the schedule! So we can wear ski masks with our ski hats every day? If you drop $6 million three years in a row, the Tour should give you a date that gets FedEx Cup recognition. How did the Greenbrier come in and get the Buick Open date instead of Turning Stone? Hey, mid-October isn’t the time to be in Syracuse. It’s the crappiest time of the year to play golf there. Players have been wearing stocking caps every round two years in a row, and you’re going to push it back later? I guess the guys who make the decision to go there in October don’t have to do anything but put on their coats and ties and go have lunch and then fly out of town. The players are slogging it out in the mud and cold. Granted, we’re playing for great money, but let’s use some common sense. You don’t go to Syracuse in October. Are we going to play the FedEx Cup next year in Buffalo? I don’t think so.
SI: It doesn’t seem like the Fall Series tournaments get much support from the Tour, especially with all the talk that the season ends with the FedEx Cup. The fall events don’t count for FedEx Cup points and don’t include an automatic Masters invite for the winners.
Anonymous Pro: It’s perplexing to players. Nobody understands why the Tour treats the Fall Series so badly. I think finishing the season in November is still the way to go. Either move these fall events up earlier or make them count for something. The Tour Championship has got to be the last event of the year — it’s got to. We’ve missed the boat. The fall events mean nothing except to the guys from 120 to 150 on the money list, and the public doesn’t care about those guys.
SI: So are you fired up about the Presidents Cup here at Harding Park this week?
Anonymous Pro: Maybe I’m just in a cynical mood, but the only team event that matters in golf is the Ryder Cup. A lot of players totally think the Presidents Cup is a money grab for the Tour because we missed out on the Ryder Cup. To the players, the Presidents Cup is just a clambake. You think Tiger and Phil really want to play Harding Park this week? They pretty much want to be done in October, but the Tour keeps trying to find ways to make them play — the Presidents Cup, the new World Cup thing in China. This is another week the tour can take Tiger to the bank.
Is anybody out there in San Francisco talking about the Presidents Cup? Where I live, people are watching college football on Saturday and pro football on Sunday, not golf.
SI: So, will you be watching the Presidents Cup this weekend?
Anonymous Pro: Probably. Unless there’s a really good game on.