Finchem Could Have Appeased Mickelson for BMW's Sake

September 11, 2007

One of Phil Mickelson's major, but unspoken, points of contention with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, and the reason he withdrew from last week's BMW Championship, was because he didn't believe he should be forced to play the Wednesday pro-am in Chicago after finishing the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston Monday afternoon.

Mickelson might not have handled the withdrawal tactfully--taking a shot a Finchem on national television minutes after beating Tiger Woods in a compelling finish at TPC Boston--but he does have a valid point.

It's insane to ask the guys to play four straight weeks (and seven of nine), then force a pro-am on them during one of the transition days between big-money, high-stakes events. The inmates shouldn't run the asylum, but considering the negative PR implications for the tour, Finchem should have cut a deal to appease BMW, and the German auto maker would have gotten Mickelson to stay in town after his appearance at Medinah for Bearing Point.

If the tour could substitute a clinic for the pro-am in Atlanta because of bad greens, they could certainly have compromised at Cog Hill and legitimized the concept that these are playoffs, not just another tournament.

--Tim Rosaforte