Friday, May 2, 2008

Profile of Tim Finchem - A Summary

Alan Shipnuck wrote a very lengthy profile, bordering on a biography, of PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem on It's an interesting read and is kind of revealing about Finchem in some ways. But, to save you time if you can't get about 15 minutes to read it, here are the highlights:

Finchem's career highlights before PGA Tour Commish job:

  • Worked in VA Beach as a lawyer
  • Ran for prosecutor office in VA Beach and lost because he had a lot of speeding tickets
  • Got involved with the Carter campaign
  • Then got on board with the DNC as Vice Chair (bad timing)
  • Started a private venture company that worked to get organizations in new markets
  • The PGA Tour became a client of his, where he met his second wife negotiating a contract for the fledgling Senior Tour
  • Became heir apparent Commissioner to Deane Beman very shortly after joining the organization

PGA Tour Commissioner insights:
  • Greg Norman still hates Finchem (nevermind, not an insight)
  • Initiated the First Tee - in my mind, his greatest achievement
  • Blames the Americanization of the WGCs on TV
  • Spends half the year on the road
  • Does not like pomp and circumstance, and admittedly isn't a very good colloquial public speaker
  • Seems to have ways of getting what he wants - he beat the TPA in 1998, beat down Norman's World Tour idea at the Shark Shootout no less, and earned Tiger's respect in 2000

Personal highlights:
  • Finchem likes to ski, drink wine, cook, and spend time with his family
  • He has 3 daughters from his 2nd marriage, 1 son from his first (a chef by trade)
  • Doesn't like the spotlight
  • Loves to debate and build consensus

Good piece by Shipnuck all around. It's an interesting campaign that Finchem has been employing this year to get people to know him a little bit better. While he alludes that no one should expect that he will retire at the end of his current 4 year contract, it would seem to me that he is beginning to sew up his legacy in the event that he does retire. In that event, I would be interested in hearing from either PGA Tour staff that may read here, or from others in the golf community, about the names of potential successors.

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