Golf World Monday: A way to appease stars
*From the Jan. 24 issue of Golf World Monday:
*All sports are star-driven, but golf even more so. Whether it was Seve Ballesteros decades ago, or Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood today, the major professional tours have always acted to protect their self-interest while making some accommodations to attract that handful of players who sell the tickets and draw the eyeballs to TV screens. This has never been a large number. Why don't the European Tour and the PGA Tour agree to give the top 10 players in the World Ranking, say over a 24-month period, dual citizenship and waive the minimum tournament requirement as a perk for having reached the top of the game?
The list of names at that altitude changes little over a two-year stretch. At the most, you're probably talking about 15 guys at any given point in time. If someone slips out of the top 10, he's got 12 months from that date to enjoy his previous status, then it expires.
The Players aside, how does it help the Wells Fargo Championship if the PGA Tour makes it impractical, if not impossible, for the World's No. 1 golfer to enter? It's a noble ideal to treat all players the same, but the stars have never been, and will never be, the same as everyone else.
If the best player in the world wants to play, whether it's in Charlotte or Abu Dhabi, Memphis or Mallorca, figure out a way to let him. What's needed is a little more cooperation and a little less protectionism.*
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