NEW YORK, NY – Watching Ricky Barnes and Luke Glover play the US Open this weekend, many viewers were left with one question: ‘Who the hell are these guys?’
A question any child may ask, but certainly not a childish question.
Here’s one answer: Ricky and Luke are the two golfers who have played the best since Thursday, have made the least mistakes, and who have been the most consistent. In other words: they are the leaders and deserve to be there. (yawn).
Here’s another answer: That makes for terrible golf. To paraphrase Spike Lee (i.e. here comes an insult that I’ll pretend isn’t an insult by saying—) “nothing against those two guys”— but no one cares about them. Ricky who? Luke what? I as the viewer cannot get invested in two guys who have won on the Nationwide. This is the majors. This is for big boys.
Golf fans want to see the stars win the big ticket items. So do casual fans. So do TV ratings, endorsements, and prize purses.
That’s why the USGA is seriously considering changing the rules for the four majors so that ONLY stars can win. And you know what? It makes total sense. And it’s pretty fair.
Since when is sports about who deserves it? Since when should we not let teams buy championships? And since when does golf feel it’s OK to bore us with no names when we tune in to see Phil melt down off the courtesy tent?
Besides, regular slaps have lots of opportunities to win on the ‘normal’ tour. There are about 30 Buick Opens, and plenty of Chick-Fil-A invitationals in Ohio and Arizona. Let the no names win there.
But when it comes to majors, this seasoned reporter thinks the USGA is on to something.
Be honest, wouldn’t Monday’s final round be 1000 times more interesting if it was just Tiger and Phil, with Sergio and Duval in the group ahead of them? Why do you think David Stern fixed the NBA Finals the way he did? Orlando, no. Lakers, hell yes.
For more Shoeless Joe Jackson, and articles and videos that spin sports and comedy in ways ESPN isn’t allowed to, check out http://www.dailyballbreakers.com/ (breaking balls every day).