Tiger won't win at Sawgrass [ESPN]... Bubba made some comments about The State of Tiger Woods, and now Tiger wants to "talk" [Wei Under Par]... U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell has had some trouble over the past few months [Tour Report]... For the fantasy golf players [PGATour.com Fantasy Insider]... A day in the life of TPC Sawgrass's 17th hole [Golf.com]... RIP, Seve Ballesteros. A roundup of tributes and reflections (GolfChannel.com)... Moving the players to May was a bad idea [John Feinstein]... Lusting over a new set of clubs? Find out if you need them [GolfDigest.com] and once you decide you do, buy them here... The Hooked on Golf World Tour will keep you busy in moments of boredom today [HookedOnGolfBlog.com]...
It's one of the best weeks of the year for the PGA Tour, but something feels missing. The buzz is there, for The Players at TPC Sawgrass always brings that. The star-studded field is there. Hole No. 17, one of the most dramatic in all of golf is there.
So what isn't? The chance to crown a major champion on Sunday.
The idea to make The Players golf's fifth major has been debated, pulled apart, inspected and denied for years. The most influential golf writers have written and spoken about it. Players have chimed in, as well as PGA Tour executives. But nothing continues to change.
The sole reason lies in the fact that the PGA Tour (and pardon this cliche) is what it is: a sports league that values tradition more than anything else. It's similar to baseball in that respect. Whenever there's a shaking of the foundation, people get uncomfortable.
Which is what makes the conversation about The Players becoming the fifth major that much more compelling. Golf doesn't need The Players to be a major. Fans don't need it, nor do the golfers. We could go on forever talking about it.
And that's exactly what the PGA Tour wants, and for good reason. The longer The Players doesn't become one of golf's major tournaments, the more popular it will get. The conversation alone draws viewers in and keeps the tournament relevant. Not that it needs any help, it has one of the best, if not THE best, 3-hole finishes in golf.
No. 16 is the easiest hole on the course. No. 17 is the most dramatic. No. 18 is the hardest hole on the course. It sets up for thrilling finishes and devastating heartbreak every year.
Few tournaments can stand alone as must-see on the PGA Tour outside of the four majors, but The Players does - and will - whether it becomes a major or not.
The Players will become a major the same day the Masters stops being one.
I'd like to see it be the fifth major as much as anyone, but it won't, and that's good (mostly) and bad (hardly) for the PGA Tour.
And that's exactly how the Tour wants it.