US PGA Tour eyes global aspirations

It’s been almost 20 years since former world No 1 Greg Norman sat before a packed press gallery at Royal Sydney and proposed a world professional golf tour.

Norman then spent the next few years pulling arrows out of his back at such a suggestion.

Tim Finchem Tim Finchem (Credit: Getty Images)

So even the Great White Shark must now feel somewhat vindicated by US Tour chief Tim Finchem’s suggestion last week that professional golf should now be controlled by one “global” organisation.

Finchem’s statement was regarded as the latest shot in a war of words between the world’s two biggest golf tours – the European Tour and the US PGA Tour.

Evidently Finchem’s statement was a response to the the European Tour’s failure to “budge” on the date for its long-running event the French Open.

It means one of Europe’s marquee events will clash with the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio from June 30.

Finchem questioned the need for a European Tour at all:

“We think that what’s in the paramount best interest of men’s and women’s professional golf is coming under one unified organisation with a genuine global brand and being able to compete on a global level in the global markets, much like soccer,” Finchem said.

“There aren’t that many sports that are as active on virtually every continent as golf.

“That’s the reason why the IOC wanted us as part of the Olympics, so we should be taking advantage of that.

“Now, there are all kind of structural issues and turf issues and attitude issues, and change is sometimes difficult.

“But sooner or later, I think everybody is going to get on that road and when they do I think it’s going to be a very positive thing for golf.”

We’re sure Greg Norman would be the first to agree.