Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tim Finchem Blames the Media for Westchester

The PGA Tour has come to a decision as to what it will do with the Barclays and Westchester. The skinny is that Westchester will still not host the 2008 Barclays. Ridgewood will. Westchester is going to be paid $1.1 million in a buyout from the Tour in order to make that happen. Liberty National will host the event in 2009. Westchester, then, re-enters the picture as a possible host course for the event beginning in 2010 through 2012.

Sam Weinman, who has been following this story vehemently, explains the contract situation:

The deal is a reversal from the tour’s earlier stance of wanting to terminate outright its existing six-year agreement with Westchester, citing poor attendance and logistical problems at the 2007 Barclays as a reason. That original contract had Westcheser hosting the Barclays at least two more times before 2012. In the modified deal, the $1.1 million buyout would satisfy one of those years on the contract, but the tournament would have to return to Westchester one more time, with the option of a second time at the tour’s disposal.

The Tour announced the news on Friday. In the press release, Tim Finchem pinned blame on the situation squarely on who it belongs...the media. What? That's right. The Commish said:

Some reporters suggested that the movement of The Barclays was due to our view that Westchester Country Club was substandard. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Finchem wrote. “We have great respect for Westchester Country Club—your course, your membership and your great tradition. Our players enjoy playing there. We at the PGA Tour regret any offense created by these misplaced media comments and are sorry for the impressions these comments caused. Our return to your club at least one more time indicates our view that it is a world class facility.
Misplaced media comments? How bout defending the letter from Ed Moorhouse of the PGA Tour to Westchester that, in part, says exactly:
While we believe we all attempted to make The Barclays work at Westchester in late August, I believe it simply is not possible to stage a tournament at the level we need to stage this event, satisfy the needs and requirements of our players and accommodate the needs of the Westchester membership during that time of year.
Unless Ed Moorhouse is consider part of the media, I'm pretty sure that the media had this story right.

No comments: