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PGA TOUR CONFIDENTIAL
Gary Van Sickle
March 05, 2012
How has the PGA Tour changed? What needs fixing on the senior tour? Should the belly putter be banned? Are you rooting for Tiger to catch Jack? And do you miss playing in the Masters?
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March 05, 2012

Pga Tour Confidential

How has the PGA Tour changed? What needs fixing on the senior tour? Should the belly putter be banned? Are you rooting for Tiger to catch Jack? And do you miss playing in the Masters?

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Lehman: That's not to diminish their talents. It's simply the way the game is taught now and the way you're forced to play the game with today's equipment, plus the design and setup of the courses. That's why the British Open is the greatest equalizer—it's all about the line, not about distance. At the Open the ball is bouncing and rolling, and if it's not on the right line, you catch the pot bunkers and it turns into a long week. That's why Tom Watson still has a chance to win, because he hits his lines and makes putts.

Funk: It's a deeper Tour, top to bottom, and it's a world tour. That has made a difference.

Haas: Like Fred said, the entire world has joined the fray. Somebody asked me what the difference was between the time I started in golf and now. I said, "Spike marks and accents." Now every other guy on Tour is Australian or South African or English or Irish.

GAME CHANGE

Van Sickle: What one change would you like to see made on the Champions tour?

Lehman: How about if we played for $7 million a week and the young guys played for $2 million?

Funk: I'm in favor of that! We need a better TV package. Right now, the seniors are the afterthought, shown on tape delay. I don't like that.

Van Sickle: How about a Monday or Tuesday finish? You'd be the only live golf on Golf Channel.

Funk: That's a great idea. That said, TV isn't going to make or break our tour. It costs us a lot of money for that coverage, and I don't know if we really benefit from it the way we're being shown.

Strange: That's a good point. The senior tour survives because of the social interactions with the sponsors. Our tournaments aren't really TV events. Sponsors support us because they can entertain clients and guests with Mark O'Meara and Steve Pate and the rest of us at dinners or cocktail parties. We embrace that, so we feel as if we're part of the success.

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