The First Call readers leave no doubt about the story of the year that played out in the media, on the course and in the courts, and featured the game's biggest names
Question of the week [Dec. 12-18]: In your opinion, what has been the top golf story of 2022?
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The top story of 2022 is the bet men's professional golf is making that its top stars can generate enough revenue to sustain and support weekly purses between 15 to 20 million dollars. This is as much a business and economics story as it is about LIV Golf and the PGA Tour. Can professional men’s golf generate Formula 1-type revenue to pay for these enormous purses? That is the real question, that is the very high risk bet being made. The question not to be asked at this time is "What happens to professional golf if these purses and this economic model is unsustainable?”
The top story of the year has to be LIV Golf, but the story of the Open Championship from Tiger Woods to Rory McIlroy, Cameron Smith and Cameron Young was pretty good.
My idea of top stories for 2022:
Unfortunately, No. 1 is the birth of LIV Golf and what a buffoon Greg Norman has turned himself into.
No. 2: Matt Fitzpatrick's return to The Country Club, staying with the same family he stayed with when he won the U.S. Amateur there, and winning this year's U.S. Open.
No. 3: What has happened to U.S. women pro golfers and why can't they compete with golfers from Asian countries?
The subservience of all media to the government and big pharma in refusing to report anything of the mRNA shots status and timing in relation to the blood clot of Nelly Korda [among many other young, healthy athletes globally].
The implosion of their brands by Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman and the meager interest in LIV golf.
The reboot of Lydia Ko amidst the rise of Atthaya Thitikul, the quick peak and then fall of Patty Tavatanakit, and the destructive wrist injury of Jin Young Ko.
Of course the top story is [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay Monahan's dictatorial stance with LIV, but there is another one. The next biggest story that is emerging with little fanfare is the tremendous development of the LPGA. The purses are finally growing. TV coverage is increasing and the skill of the color commentators is getting better. The players are improving their interview skills. All of this increases the value of their product, which increases media attention, which increases fan interest, which leads to ROI for sponsors. What a concept! People pay money for subjects that generate profits. It's long overdue but it is happening.
No story has had more of a negative impact than the 2022 kick off of LIV Golf. It has caused a division in the sport and a wedge between once good friends. Money, the root of all evil has shown its ugly teeth in this once gentleman’s game. LIV has forced the PGA Tour and the sponsors to come up with more money just to compete.
When is enough, enough? The game I grew up loving has become all about Benjamins and less about the sport. Perhaps it’s time to turn off the TV and head for the course. "Chasing the Dream" has sadly become "A Good Walk Spoiled."
The Villages, Florida
West Columbia, South Carolina
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