I was glued to the coverage of the FedEx Cup. The best players in the United States, going at it, with the chance to win a silly amount of money is great viewing.
On my way into the DP World Tour Championship, at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, I felt the same anticipation to watch great talent compete on a magnificent golf course.
They were both excellent spectacles, with worthy winners of the season prizes; Justin Thomas with FedEx Cup and Tommy Fleetwood with The Race to Dubai.
However, when I was standing by the 18th green watching Justin Rose hole out from three feet for birdie, I didn’t know who had won. Was it the faltering Rose, or did Fleetwood win it? Or what about Jon Rahm, as he had won the actual tournament?
The murmurings from the crowd informed me it wasn’t just me who was in the dark…
So how to make it better?
Two words; copy tennis.
The finals of the ATP at the O2 each year are one of sport’s most underrated events. The pyrotechnics, lights, commentary, format and location are truly wonderful to behold.
Imagine having the world’s top eight players (currently DJ, Spieth, Thomas, Rahm, Matsuyama, Rose, Koepka and Rickie Fowler) split in to two round robin groups, with a semi final and final to follow.
Match play is the most personal form of golf, as the Ryder Cup consistently shows, and watching millionaires win more millions is boring. Playing for personal rivalries and pride? That we would tune in to.
How many final rounds can you remember at East Lake or on the Earth Course? Not many I would suggest.
Would you if Jordan was playing Justin? Definitely.
Choose the golf course with great care, set it up for matchplay and let the guys go at each other. Sponsors would lose their minds to be a part of it, and the final few events would carry much more weight.
Something to think about, Jay Monahan and Keith Pelley.