News & ToursNovember 7, 2009

'A political storm' or much ado about nothing?

Does it really matter that a victory in the WGC-HSBC Champions won't count as official on a PGA Tour player's resume, or that the money earned in the tournament won't count toward the money list?

Some think so, as this headline in the Mail indicates: "Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson caught in political storm in Shanghai."

The writer Graham Otway notes that when the WGC events were established in 1999 the major tours around the world agreed that the tournaments would count as official in each of them, yet PGA Tour Commissioner ruled that that would not be the case on the PGA Tour this year.

"As a result, the world's first- and second-ranked players [Woods and Mickelson] found themselves caught in the middle of a power struggle between their own US Tour and the rest of the world's," Otway wrote.

The vote here is that it is much ado about nothing. The HSBC Champions did not gain WGC status until the end of April. Better not to change the rules in the middle of the season. Presumably, it will count as official in the future.

Moreover, money spends the same whether it's official or unofficial. The results, too, count toward the World Golf Ranking, which is more important than the money list.

Then there's this: A final round featuring the two best players in the world vying for the championship doesn't require anyone's imprimatur other than own. Woods and Mickelson give it stature, not Finchem.

-- John Strege

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