Sunday, January 27, 2008

What's Holding the Euro Tour Back?

George O'Grady, Executive Director of the European Tour, knows exactly why the PGA Tour will dominate for the foreseeable future.

O'Grady is well aware that he can negotiate some of the richest tournaments in the world but without Tiger he will always be playing catch up with America. After all Europe's greatest growth spurt was initiated by Seve Ballesteros. You need a figurehead. O'Grady says: "We've got to develop our own Tiger Woods. Rory McIlroy might be our Irish Tiger Woods. Martin Kaymer is a brilliant young player."
No matter how successful the Race to Dubai becomes, it will not propel the European Tour into the same level as the PGA Tour without the man that makes the PGA Tour go - Tiger Woods.

If you're the PGA Tour, though, here's a scarier question: once Tiger retires in 10-15 year, what is the continuity plan? By then, will what O'Grady is setting up today be mature to the point that the European Tour is better positioned for the future?

The PGA Tour is so reliant on Tiger that when he goes away and takes all of his records with him, the corporate community and fan base may not respond to the game in the same way. In fact, they definitely will not. If the European Tour can find a way to thrive in a Tiger-less environment, it may turn out that they will fare even better when the PGA Tour no longer holds the ultimate trump card.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for the Koreans to start allowing men onto golf courses. Watch out when this ban is lifted.