From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Phoenix Open’s chance at later start date hinges on NFL, Super Bowl

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Who knew two years of crummy weather could end up helping the Waste Management Phoenix Open? After two straight years of delays ranging from frost to torrential rains, the PGA Tour may be on the verge of giving the Phoenix event a schedule reprieve in the future.

The one great thing about the tournament was that it always fell on the same weekend as the Super Bowl — which always seemed like the perfect spot for an event that tends to have crowds that rival those found at NFL games.

As Mike McQuaid told the Arizona Republic, there’s a chance the tournament could get pushed back on the schedule, thereby giving the tournament a chance finish a couple weeks into the month of February. But right now, the potential move hinges on the NFL going from 16 to 18 games.

“There is a chance to finish (the Open) a couple weeks later and still get aligned with the Super Bowl,” McQuaid said.

Ty Votaw, PGA Tour executive vice president, said the PGA has had discussions with the NFL but it’s too early to speculate on the ramifications of any changes to the football schedule.

“There are so many different ways it could play out,” he said.

The PGA will begin negotiations later this year on a new television contract that could affect the Phoenix Open schedule.

A later start for the Open is no guarantee of better weather, but it would mean more daylight to play golf if frost holds up the tournament.

Sure, more daylight would be nice, but we’re talking about a lot of big “ifs” right now. The biggest of all being the NFL coming to an agreement and actually getting the upcoming season off without a hitch. While the extra two games will almost certainly be part of the negotiations between the two sides, don’t expect the Phoenix Open to get an answer anytime soon on the tournament date.

It would be nice to have the tournament start later in the month, but it would in no way guarantee better weather. The only thing it would do, as the The Arizona Republic noted, is give the tournament some more daylight.

But as we’ve seen in the past few years, daylight hasn’t been the biggest roadblock for the tournament.

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Written by Jonathan Wall

02/08/2011 at 4:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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