The Loop

Why the TOC is in danger of becoming the TOPEAWFTPYAADWAP

January 06, 2014

The worst news for the PGA Tour out of a glorious week so far at Kapalua has been a widespread sense that this feels just like every other Hyundai Tournament of Champions: a fresh and exciting beginning to 2014. This would suggest the scantily-watched fall events did not undermine our sense of excitement at seeing the New Year rung in by Hawaiian golf. Hasn't it been super seeing old friend Kapalua with 30 golfers who won 2013 PGA Tour events?

Naturally, the PGA Tour is unable to leave a good thing alone instead of focusing on things that need work (say, a better course for the match play, some fresh formats, less creepy get-to-know-the-players television promos or how about restoring a July 4 weekend event to Chicago and calling it the Western Open?).

Specifically, we're talking about the seemingly annual report that the tour wants the TOC to become the TOPEAWFTPYAADWAP.

That's Tournament of Points Earners And Winners From The Previous Year And Anyone Decent With A Pulse.

Geoff Shackelford talked about the TOC on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive."

Yes, someone wants to make the TOC just like too many other limited field events: another top 50 in the world points grab with little to distinguish it from the other weeks of the year.

The TOC has a beautiful brevity and class to it that any golf fan can understand. Much as the TOPEAWFTPYAADWAP has a gangly, goofiness that will not serve sponsor Hyundai or the PGA Tour's purpose in strengthening this event. As brilliant as the PGA Tour is at making deals and marrying sponsors to the right events, they're just as bad at getting the big picture when it comes to fans and little traditions worth protecting. While the TOC is no Masters, it's the perfect way to start off the year and a great reward for the often lost art of winning.

Players who win a tour title will always mention that they are headed down Magnolia Lane as the spoil of their victory, but within moments they're reminded that a win also means a leisurely week at the Ritz Carlton sipping Mai Tai's with family and friends. Please, please do not let the TOC morph into something other than what it is: the perfect way to start the season.