Matt Kuchar made some statements before the Frys.com about the PGA Tour’s lack of an off-season.
“It’s just so quick to restart after the Ryder Cup,” Kuchar said. “It doesn’t feel like there’s any break. A one-week break is not a break.”
It’s an interesting notion. Ever since the PGA Tour began letting the FedExCup legislate the nature of the entire Tour calendar, professional golfers are not offered a break. To incorporate FedExCup points from the lineup of events formerly known as the “Fall Series,” the PGA Tour decided to add them to the season. This places urgency on these events. In order to take time off, players must put themselves behind the pace set by the early players.
Matt Kuchar wants to keep these events, but wants them to be part of the season–before the playoffs.
“I still am pushing to put these three events – Frys, Vegas, McGladrey – after the Wyndham Championship, before the playoffs, have these part of the real season,” he said. “I’d love to see there be a proper break and then maybe an Asia restart come November.”
The issue is in television competition, primarily with the sports world’s dominator–the NFL.
Kuchar noted that, as well:
“I know there’s an issue with wanting the FedEx to not compete with football, but it competes with Week 3 or 4 of football,” he said. “Why not compete with Week 7 of football? I see Week 7 as being less attentive for football watchers than Weeks 1, 2 and 3.”
Sure, the PGA Tour doesn’t see an offseason like the NFL, NBA, NHL or even the MLB (who play 162 games and only have a few months off), but the difference lies in the option of freedom. Kuchar doesn’t have to play in any event he doesn’t want to play. Good luck Tom Brady telling coach Belichick he’s taking a week off. How about a summer vacation for Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw? It doesn’t happen.
What Matt Kuchar needs to recognize, is that playing in these offseason exhibitions should not be factored into Tour scheduling. It is an exhibition and an honor to play. Remember, aside from the top-125 players on Tour, many of the guys who play golf for a living haven’t had PGA Tour opportunities to play for almost two months. That’s an offseason.
In reality, the best players in the world have an advantage anyways. They get into the elite events and get to choose their travel schedules months ahead of time. Yes, they play exhibition matches in the Presidents Cup, Ryder Cup, etc. Yes, the best players qualify for the Tour Championship and play longer into the season. But their bank accounts, world rankings and networks give them the opportunity to play that few other professionals receive.
So to Matt Kuchar, there is some merit to what you are saying. Some.
But at the end of the day, the Tour needs to do what is best for the entire PGA Tour, not simply the stars who have a growing list of playing obligations. In reality, rarely are they obligations in the first place. Players looking for opportunities call those privileges. Starting the season in October may seem messy, but its best for all players involved.
The only player getting a full offseason to rest anyways, is the best player of the entire era.