It seems like last weekend that the golfing world took a collective sigh as the season came to an end. I realize that the Ryder Cup is not part of the PGA Tour, but it is a large enough event where it captured the attention of all golfers. Now, we turn our eyes to the 2018/2019 professional season with the Safeway Open. Yup, I am not kidding, the professional golf season starts tomorrow!
Unfortunately for the Safeway Open, most of the top names are home resting after a grueling season. This event is drawing the top name second tier players and bottom end top tier players. The biggest name in the field is Phil Mickelson. I think he might be trying to have a quick start to his year to set up the rest of the season. Unfortunately, Mickelson’s play of late may make that difficult.
Tournaments like the Safeway Open are critical for the PGA Tour. Forget the TV money and other endorsements because the Safeway Open provide opportunities for the players outside the top 25 to hone their skills and actually win an event. It is difficult to explain that chances to win on tour are slim at best, but having the top players in the field toughen the chances. I consider these early events “journeymen tournaments” because it provides professional players a chance to win and secure their card by placing high in the field on Sunday.
The wrap around season is challenging for professional golfers. Like the rest of us, some work at their craft all year around. As the PGA Tour seeks new opportunities to expand, events like the Safeway Open help build a strong foundation for the players who earned their card. The field may not be filled with star power, but the golf will be just as exciting.
I intend to watch, do you?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!