The first U.S. pro golf event begins today in Hawaii. SBS, also known as Seoul Broadcasting System a former long-time partner of the LPGA, is sponsoring it’s first ever PGA Tour event. This weekend’s will feature a gathering of all the PGA winners in 2009. Back in the days of tournaments without sponsors, this was known as the Tournament of Champions and was played in Las Vegas or La Costa California up through 1998 when it was moved to the island of Maui.
Tiger Woods isn’t there, and I’m sure you all know why. Phil Mickelson is also skipping the event, something he has done for several years. The only past winner of the tournament playing this week, is Geoff Ogilvy, the 2009 champion. Much has been made of this fact.
I’m not going to speculate on whether the PGA Tour will survive without Tiger, because they will. Firstly because Tiger will be back some day, secondly because the Tour lived successfully for many years without Woods. Could the Tour lose fans? Absolutely, but they are fair weather ones that have limited interest in golf to begin with. If Michelle Wie could finally take off, the PGA’s loss could be the LPGA’s gain.
A few tournaments are without sponsors. I think the Fall Series could be in for a shaky time. The rest of the tour will do just fine. So let the golf begin.
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