September 20 2011
ATLANTA -- PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem was at a recent Player Advisory Council meeting in New York when one of the pros made the statement that the TOUR is "at a point of total parity."
Meaning: Any player can win at any given time.
"It occurred to me that that's true," Finchem said Tuesday during a news conference prior to this week's TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. "So far the fans seem to really like it and it'll be interesting to see what develops in that regard going forward."
Finchem said the TOUR has gone from a sport that had a dominant player -- Tiger Woods -- to "all the way" to the other end of the spectrum. He noted that there is particular interest in the TOUR's young group of players, many of whom were inspired to play golf because of Woods' dominance.
"When I go around the country, the first thing I hear from people is, boy, you've got a lot of great young players right now, and they're so athletic and fun to watch on the golf course," Finchem said. "So we'll see. But I think that every indication is that this is the beginning of a long-term (trend)."
Keegan Bradley, who won the PGA Championship last month, is one of those young players, as is Webb Simpson, who'll enter this week's event ranked No. 1 in FedExCup points. Those two players are among the six who have won two events this year; no player has won more than two.
Finchem said the TOUR's sponsors have been particularly pleased with the impact that the young players have made.
"There's a real interest with this number of young players, and I think that sponsors feed off the fans in that regard," Finchem said. "They see the galleries and they see the interest level and they see the television numbers -- and in today's world, if you're spending millions of dollars for a sport, you're really studying it pretty carefully. It's been very interesting."