Tuesday, September 20, 2022
It's anybody's guess what the future holds . . .
A returnee from outer space who had just spent three years on Mars, while perusing the order of finish Sunday in the Fortinet Championship, might have asked the question, "Why are Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Jimmy Walker, Emiliano Grillo, Hideki Matsuyama, Alex Noren, Brandt Snedeker, Gary Woodland and Lucas Glover playing on the Korn Ferry Tour? Have they all lost their exemptions?"
Sadly, that's the current situation in the sport that for decades probably was at the head of the class as far as sports sanity is concerned. No more. The advent of the LIV Tour has fractured the game and it's anybody's guess if it will ever be the same. Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, Bryson DeChambeau and the rest of the PGA defectors who have opted to join forces with Greg Norman and the Saudis - you recall, the country that murdered the Washington Post reporter and dismembered his body, and has faced no consequences - have divided the best golfers in the world and turned the sport upside down.
Not that Max Homa, winner of the Fortinet, isn't a superior player, he is. So are a bunch of the others he's competing against, like Sam Burns. But as mentioned here in the past, I could take 20 of the best of the young guns and line them up side by side and facing the other way, and I seriously doubt that a panel of long-time fans could correctly name five of them. The same people who would score 100 if trying to pick from a lineup of Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, John Daly, Rory McIlroy and even Phil Mickelson. Not to mention a guy named Tiger.
The galleries following PGA players these days are way down, it is obvious on the TV screen. We all assume Tiger will be back in due time and he'll bring back the thousands of fans who have decided to stay home now. But even Tiger's presence in sporadic events won't make up for the current split.
We have people who are considered 'experts' in various fields - the stock market, the weather, real estate, etc. - who make predictions daily in the U. S. There isn't one who has an inkling of how this whole golf thing will turn out.