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Continental drift

I follow golf on the telly; it’s one of the reasons why I have Sky Sports. Currently the European Tour is in what it calls ‘The Final Series’, a device introduced this year to ape the American PGA tour’s successful and very lucrative Fedex Cup series; four big money events, not open to all Tour card-holders, but only to those who have qualified by earning enough through the regular season. Since it is the European Tour, it would be reasonable to suppose that these tournaments would take place in Europe. How wrong could you be? Have I been watching it live? No, because I don’t fancy getting up in the middle of the night!

Of this quids-in quartet, the first took place in China, and the field included local talent and invitees, in addition to the European qualifiers. This week’s event  is also in  China; it’s a World Golf Championship event, which means that only a minority of European Tour card-holders have any hope of playing in it. The third event takes place next week in Antalya, Turkey, which is, I believe, in Asia Minor, and whose guest star is Tiger Woods. Thanks to co-sanctioning, the Tigger has actually won more European Tour events  than anyone other than Seve and Bernhard Langer, but he has never held a tour card in his life, so he’s taking a spot from someone with legitimate aspirations of a place in a restricted field. The last event, the grandly titled DP World Tour Championship, will be held, as always, in Dubai, over a course designed by that well-known European, Greg Norman. So there you have it; not one of these bonanza events, the crown of the European Tour season, will actually take place in Europe.  You might think that’s daft, but it’s not when you realise that in the 2013 series only twenty of the forty-six listed events took place in the what is supposed to be the home continent.

Agreed, you cannot play tournament golf in Europe 52 weeks a year. To give its members earning opportunities, the Tour managers have to go far and wide, to Australia, to South Africa and to the Far East. But they do not need to sell out completely. For years now, the schedule has overlapped calendar years, so what is to prevent them copying the Americans once again and staging The  Final Series in the European summer, with one event each in Britain, France, Germany and Spain? Only, I suspect, a little imagination.

Categories: Sport
  1. Pat wright
    November 2, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Just goes to show-common sense doesn’t rule? Is it money or politics that wins the “draw”??

  2. November 2, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Oh it’s money. This week the WGC guys are playing in Shanghai before a crowd of mostly bewildered Chinese, and no live TV audience to speak of, because HSBC are putting up the dough.

  3. November 7, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    On a lighter note, what a wonderful finish with the final 3-ball all scoring 66’s!!!

  4. November 7, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    More seriously, I just received my latest PGA Newsletter. Worth a look at this part:

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