Fire Drill 042: State of the Union (Jack)

With Alan Shipnuck, Michael Bamberger and Ryan French

In the latest Fire Drill podcast, Ryan French, Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger discuss another big stretch for the game: the compromised Player of the Year voting, a bang-bang finish at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, Talor Gooch’s rise and Monday madness as the PGA Tour season begins in Napa.

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5 thoughts on “Fire Drill 042: State of the Union (Jack)”

  1. As always, great podcast. Here are a couple of points.

    1. Why did everything stop in England when Elizabeth died? The Queen is for the Brits the last vestige of the Empire. She served her country during World War II, and she reigned for 70 years with a stiff upper lip through all the scandalous escapades of an incredibly dysfunctional royal extended family, the dissolution of the Commonwealth, and the economic decline of Great Britain itself. Through it all, she labored on with nary a complaint…a trait that defines her countrymen. Basically, she was England, a country dominated by a sense of classism that we Americans find alien and repugnant. On the other hand, we are intrigued by celebrities and she was international celebrity #1.

    2. Why do PGA and DP golfers resent the LIV guys? Two words: LIV litigation. The two lawsuits are extracting major financial resources from the PGA and DP operations, money that could have gone to tournament purses. Initially I don’t think there was a lot of open rancor, but when the lawsuits were filed, you heard complaints about LIV guys “having their cake and eating it too.” So yeah, now it’s personal. Don’t know about you but if someone sues me I tend to resent it.

  2. The reaction of the European (DP World) Tour to LIV is, quite frankly, ridiculous. It’s absolutely fine for Rory, and all the other top Europeans, to join the PGA tour and barely appear in Europe (Rory can’t even be bothered playing in the Irish Open), yet when some of the same players join LIV (and in effect will be able to play more in Europe as they are banned on the PGA tour), they are seen as the low of the low and are banned. I’ve never seen such hypocrisy.
    This ‘strategic alliance’ with the PGA Tour is a disaster for the European tour, there is absolutely no reason to ban European LIV golfers from the European tour and it’s only happening because of the so called alliance. Keith Pelley needs to wake up and smell the coffee, as the current stance will ultimately devalue and possibly destroy the European Tour.

    1. You raise some valid points Jim but I hope you’re excluding Sergio Garcia from your list of European LIV golfers. Here’s a guy who WD’d after round 1 at Wentworth and didn’t have the courtesy to provide the Tour with an explanation. Also, as someone who resides in the UK and supports both the PGA and the DP World Tour I do not begrudge Poulter, Westwood et al playing the BMW at Wentworth, but since those guys decided they wanted to make some big retirement bucks on the LIV tour, I would rather they stayed away. Thanks to the LIV golfers a bunch of Challenger tour players who qualified for the BMW were not able to play. And whether the DP World Tour’s response to LIV is “right” or not, I have an issue with that.

  3. I enjoy your podcast discussions particularly about the immediate and evolving impact of LIV Golf on the PGA and DP World Tour events, the players, etc.
    I have two points I wish to raise with you learned gentlemen…
    1. Into the 2023 season, I would be interested in your thoughts and on course observations after LIV players have competed in one or more of the Majors. I have a sneaky feeling that 14 x 54 hole LIV events will not prepare them well for more taxing (particularly mentally) 72 holes. ie. saddling up for the fourth day of a major. We may find that they lose that edge in these big, traditional 72 hole events and that will reflect in their results. Think about it…..
    2. Here is in Australia, Cam Smith, Marc Leishman, and other Australian LIV golfers will be competing in the Australian PGA and Australian Open tournaments in November/December this year. I don’t think Australian spectators on course & watching the TV coverage, care whether they are LIV golfers or not. We have been starved for ANY national professional events with star players since the 2019 President’s Cup at Royal Melbourne.
    I believe the fight against LIV is a US PGA Tour thing. Doesn’t bother us here. The PGA Tour has only itself to blame for any lack of support from the Australian public and golf community. When they created the Fall wrap around tour, they diminished our Summer golf season because US based Australian and US players were not going to come home when they could play for bigger purses in Fall events. Eg. We lost the very popular Australian Masters tournament. What do you think? Cheers, Gary

    1. These are good points, Gary. I remember an interview with Norman years ago when he referenced the seed for his 94 World Tour design stemmed from being so peeved at having to go to the PGA Tour for a waiver to play the two big Aussie tourneys: the Open and Masters. His biggest beef: I’m an Australian….and I need a waiver to play MY national open?!

      The PGA Tour’s wrap-around was a heavy blow to the great Australian tournaments. I’m sure Oz will be rooting like hell for Cam and the boys in a few months.

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