PGA Tour’s missed opportunity

The Ryder Cup will almost certainly become the signature moment for golf in 2008--at least in the United States where a band of average Joe types won one of the sport's biggest prizes and had a helluva good time doing it.  PGA Tour tickets were never hotter than those that got you into Valhalla for that magical weekend.

Here we are two weeks later, though.  Back to normal.

No Tiger, but a great field of players including several Ryder Cup team members again in the hunt at the Tour championship.  It was dramatic--four guys within earshot of the lead coming down the stretch including some of the biggest and hottest names in golf.

But the game was again relegated to second class status by the day's NFL games, Major League Baseball's playoff chase and even NASCAR's seat-of-your-pants finish.  Coming off its best weekend of 2008, the PGA Tour couldn't capitalize.

And with the championship decided, this week's tournament field wasn't exactly star-studded.  Whatever momentum the PGA Tour had is pretty much gone.  And that's a shame.

Golf has to figure out a way to capture the excitement from big tournaments and use it as a springboard.  I know the logistics are hard.  It's autumn and nothing's going to stop the NFL, MLB playoff race or NASCAR just to make room.  It would help if we could avoid a conflict between the late NFL games and the end of the tournament somehow.  At least from 4-7, golf could have the tube to its own.

Good luck with that one.

Maybe the solution is simply to have everything wrapped up and over by late September.  Then start again with a huge splash the week before the Super Bowl, when nothing is going on.  There's an opportunity there.

The game and the players deserve a bigger spotlight when it's not Ryder Cup time or we're not talking Masters or an Open Championship.  That's where the Tour misses Tiger.  But the Ryder Cup proved golf can be good without him too.

By the way, anyone seen Boo Weekley?