'You get me Tiger Woods and I'll bring out the fans'
The Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas this week is a Fall Series event that aspires to something greater and is lobbying hard for it.
"I hope we can get in the FedEx Cup," Timberlake said last month. "I'm still pretty vocal about that."
It seeks a spring date (summers in Las Vegas are too hot), so that it can become part of the FedEx Cup season.
"The PGA Tour says we have a good event, but they want to see more spectators," tournament chairman Gary Davis told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I told them, 'You get me Tiger Woods and I'll bring out the fans.' We have a very strong field, but the key to the future success of the tournament is moving it to the spring when everyone's trying to accumulate (FedEx Cup) points."
Davis' desire to increase the relevance of the Vegas tour stop is admirable, given the worthy cause it supports, the Shriners Hospitals. But promising fans in exchange for an appearance from Tiger Woods? He's not really going out on a limb there. There isn't a tournament anywhere in the world that couldn't make the some promise.
He should know as well that no one is attempting to accumulate FedEx Cup points in the spring (or for that matter any other time of the year, unless they're on the bubble in the run-up to the playoffs).
In defense of the tournament, it probably would behoove the PGA Tour to find a way to accommodate this tournament. Timberlake's passion for golf knows no bounds and his celebrity is such that it would seem a boon to keep him involved in the PGA Tour.
-- John Strege