News & ToursOctober 14, 2009

Golf's endless summer

Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson has a story on how golf season never ends, to the chagrin of some, but offers this rebuttal:

"When do these guys ever get a vacation? Whenever they want...Such is the benefit of being an 'independent contractor.' Make your own schedule. Create your own financial opportunity. And considering the economic climate, be thankful you can continue to play tournaments wherever and whenever."

Tiger Woods, Ferguson noted, has played eight of the last 11 weeks and still has the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, the Australian Masters and his own Chevron World Challenge, "one of the longer stretches I've had," he said.

Woods, incidentally, was among those agitating for a shorter PGA Tour season back in 2005. At the Ford Championship at Doral in March of that year, Woods said, "I think we should end with Labor Day. How can we compete against football? It's not going to happen."

It still tries nonetheless. The PGA Tour introduced the FedEx Cup playoffs, culminating in the Tour Championship ending in September. This year the last two playoff events overlapped the first two weeks of the NFL regular season and was followed two weeks later by the Presidents Cup.

Ferguson noted a Twitter post by Camilo Villegas that said: "I still don't get it, every sport has an off-season but i guess we don't."

The fact that they're willfully chasing money around the world (Woods is receiving a $3 million appearance fee for playing the Australian Masters) weakens any arguments they might have regarding their endless summers. It should be noted, however, that nowhere in Ferguson's story is Woods quoted or otherwise portrayed complaining about his busy schedule.

Indeed, it even has a bright side: At least he doesn't have to further clog his schedule this year with the tiresome PGA Grand Slam of Golf, schedule for next week in Bermuda.

-- John Strege

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