Finchem attracts critics with Hall Of Fame nod

Tim Finchem, who was the primary administrator of the PGA Tour and negotiated TV contracts that more than tripled prize money during his two decades as commissioner, has been elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Finchem was a semi-finalist in 2019 yet was unsuccessful in making the list of finalists. However, in a space of two years has become the 10th administrator to be inducted.

Tim Finchem Former PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem (Credit: Getty Images)

“It is the greatest honour to be elected to join golf’s most legendary players and contributors in the World Golf Hall of Fame,” said Finchem.

“I am especially proud to stand alongside one of the world’s all-time greats, Tiger Woods, in the Class of 2021 and look forward to what will be an exciting year ahead.”

Under Finchem’s 22-year tenure as the PGA Tour Commissioner from 1994 through 2016, prize money significantly increased, moving from under US$100 million on three tours in 1994 to more than US$400 million on six tours when he retired in 2017. Finchem was also instrumental in promoting the FedExCup and the FedExCup Playoffs, the Presidents Cup and the World Golf Championships.

Finchem joins Tiger Woods and Marion Hollins as part of the 2021 Induction Class. The Hall of Fame will round out the Class of 2021 by announcing the fourth and final Inductee over the next week.

Critics of Finchem’s appointment to the Hall of Fame claim the period of golf’s rise was more linked to the Wood’s phenomena and that Finchem was able to conveniently ride that wave. That may be so, yet Finchem was able to seize on that opportunity and certainly took full advantage to the benefit of the Tour’s members.

It would be hard to argue against the fact that Finchem made the PGA Tour logo recognisable around the world and he certainly kept the tour alive during the challenging times in the 2008/2009 recession to an extent that the Tour has grown from strength to strength.