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The Tour Report

August 28 2013

3:31 PM

Finchem talks schedules, global game


NORTON, Mass. -- While he was at TPC Boston on Tuesday, PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions from the media.

Among the subjects he discussed were the new wrap-around PGA TOUR schedule, the global growth of the game and the new partnership between FOX and the USGA. Here are some of the highlights:

On the new wrap-around PGA TOUR season: "I think ending everything at the same point in time has huge advantages for us, where we can give out the FedExCup, send the ballots out to the players to vote on Player of the Year a few hours later, announce that result within a number of days of that, or a week of that, identify the Arnold Palmer Award winner, all of that is going to happen for the first time ever at the same time.  So I think that in and of itself is exciting.
"And then I think having a FedExCup points list in development when we get into the holidays, that we do have some real strong promotional opportunities through the holidays through our television partners, and to be able to really start to get that story out before we get into Hawaii is going to pay dividends, too."

On how the game might continue to grow globally: "I think that it's more like an evolution than a, okay, now we're going to jump over here and do things a lot differently. And that protects our relationship with our partners and hopefully means that we're spending the time and energy to do the right set of things. Looking back, we have made a lot of progress. And whether it's in team competitions, World Cup, World Golf Championships, the FedExCup here, the Dubai thing there. There is a lot of movement and different things. And they've helped create a situation where we have the biggest fan base globally now than we've ever had. We're going in the right direction. You also have to keep the Olympics in focus in terms of how that plays out, from a scheduling standpoint, how it plays out from elevating the focus on the sport in a different way. So there's a lot to it. But we're actively talking about it, and talking to the Tours about it.

On whether another U.S. victory in October might prompt changes in the Presidents Cup: "Well, we're always open to looking at change. And we looked at some changes this time.  We think that The Presidents Cup is young. It's gone through a couple of phases competitively, we don't see any reason to make changes right now. But absolutely, we look at this every year. Six months we may change our mind, I don't know.  Right now we feel very comfortable where we are."

On speculation that Greg Norman would be the analyst for FOX: "
I've talked to Greg a number of times he'd be good at television. I don't think he has the interest in doing it. But I think he would be good at television. I think he's charismatic, he comes across good on the air, he's opinionated. But there are a lot of options out there. But I think he'd be good."

On whether he's concerned about FOX's ability to broadcast golf when it takes over the USGA telecasts in 2015
: "Well, it's going to be a work in progress. They've got to build a capability there, working with the USGA, and I'm sure they will.  But I don't know if concern is the right word. They're professionals, they do an excellent job in producing the other sports that they have. I'm sure they'll get the talent together to do a good job for the USGA, but it will be interesting to see what happens when that lines out."