Sunday, January 13, 2008

So Long, Westchester!

John Hawkins is reporting that Westchester is likely not going to host the 2008 Barclays - the first of the four playoff events in the FedEx Cup. Instead, AW Tillinghast's Ridgewood CC is likely to host the event if the Tour and Westchester can work out a contract settlement.

A little window as to why...

[O]n-site interest at Westchester has usually fallen short of expectations, and the '07 Barclays seemed to magnify that and other weaknesses. Previously played in June, moving the tournament to the back end of summer led to discolored, substandard greens. A number of players fond of the classic-style layout lamented the conditions, and what used to be a favored tour stop had become more of a chore than a challenge. Add a competitive atmosphere that was anything but playoff-suitable, and the time had come to seek a change of scenery. "The worst thing here is, you don't get the feeling the members even want us around," tour veteran Jerry Kelly said at last year's gathering.
This is a win-win situation here. Westchester looks like junk in late August and the membership hates that the Tour sucks up 2 weeks of their precious golf season by playing at their club. Moving the event away to a Tillinghast course - even if for one year - will preserve the tradition of the event being played on a "classic" layout.

Several photos are available on the club's website.

UPDATE: Geoff Shackelford's readers like to share news with him. A reader, particularly a member at Westchester, shared with Geoff copies of letters from the PGA Tour to Westchester and from Westchester to membership that the Barclays will not be played this season at the club. Why? The PGA Tour unilaterally decided to terminate the new six year contract citing a lack of attendance and sponsor response to the corporate village concept at the event. To read the letters, head over to Geoff's site.

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