So much for the PGA Tour’s Health & Safety plan

Bernie McGuire
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So much for the PGA Tour’s Health & Safety plan

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

For golf fans around the globe, ‘Sunday at Seminole’ didn’t disappoint as long overdue top-ranked golfing entertainment.

Firstly, we got to see the ultra-exclusive Seminole Golf Club at Juno Beach in Florida.

There was the sight of Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and 21-year old Matthew Wolff wearing shorts that you never, ever see in a PGA Tour sanctioned event.

We saw the four walking off down the first with their golf bags over their shoulder, a sight of the like not seen since their respective amateur days.

McIlroy has spoken often of his friendship with Seminole’s owner, Jimmy Dunne and Dunne was introduced to the wider golf world having been interviewed during the coverage and proudly speaking of his delight in playing host to the TaylorMade Driving Relief charity skins match.

Then in no specific order, we saw the World No. 1 ranked McIlroy produce a driving display we have missed watching in the 66-days since the Players Championship was cancelled.

Lockdown or not, McIlroy remains clearly head-and-shoulders above in terms of talent over his trio of Seminole colleagues.

We saw Fowler grab five birdies over the course of the 18 holes and we must have been surprised to see Wolff outdrive his three PGA Tour colleagues in winning both ‘Longest Drive’ contests.

It seemed fitting McIlroy should produce the 120-yard ‘nearest-to-pin’ shot that handed he and ‘DJ’ victory in earning $1.85m for the Nurses Foundation while Fowler and Wolff can be equally proud in managing to pool $1.15m for their chosen Covid-19 combatting charity. But the ‘money’ was always going to happen and it was all staged for the overall sum of just over $5m raised for the respective charities.

McIlroy had spoken ahead of the event of the importance of allowing a return to golf in these continuing ‘social distancing’ days and the event showed this to a wider-watching live sports-starved world.

However, if the PGA is to learn from this first event involving just four players and no caddies ahead of a return to full-time competition and seeking to ‘care’ for 144 players and 144 caddies on June 11th with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, then the Tour has much to learn and still much more to do.

Firstly, the sight of the Tour’s Mark Wilson not only standing on every tee but then holding the flagstick on every green and also being close to the players down nearly every hole without wearing a protective mask was wrong.

Mark is a nice enough fellow but he got too close to the players, far too often and it was a gross Tour oversight not making him wear a mask.

If you looked closely at the coverage, a TV cameraman chose to wear a mask but others about him were not and if left us asking what the rules actually were for wearing masks or not.  There were also many times that an unmasked photographer stood beside the TV cameraman as photographers will do in working every tournament.

Then there were the players.

So much for a 37-page ‘Health and Safety’ document issued to every single Tour – PGA Tour, Korn Ferry Tour and Champions Tour.

The sight of Wolff spitting constantly into his towel and then wiping his face with the towel. What was that about?

‘DJ’ was also seen spitting into a cloth to wipe his clubs.  There was the sight of Fowler wiping his face on his shirt and continually touching his face.

And all the time, there was the players often standing beside each other in such actions as walking down the fairways and then while putting on the greens.

Let’s cut them a bit of slack that they’re still relatively young enough but the PGA Tour needs to set an example for other sports to follow and the players are the ones in the spotlight.

In the bigger picture, it was about all of the golfers, sports fans and families around the world who sat down to watch ‘Sunday at Seminole’.

The coverage did portray golf in a good light and a great means for getting out and exercising.

But let’s hope that someone at the PGA Tour was paying closer attention to Wolff constantly spitting into a cloth as that Tour official needs to speak to the youngster ahead of letting him loose at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

And in closing off, there was President Trump’s phone call and again horribly dismissing the fact that nearly 90,000 of his fellow Americans have died with his totally absurd remarks to Mike Tirico.

“We don’t want them (sports fans) having to wear masks and to be doing what we’ve been doing for the last number of months. That’s not getting back to normal,” said Trump.

“We want to get back to having the big crowds and they’re practically standing on top of each other, and they’re enjoying themselves.”

Forget the fact U.S., medical experts are predicting upwards of another 110,000 Americans may still die from this worldwide pandemic.

A request please from the rest of the world watching ‘Sunday at Seminole’ to our dear friends in the U.S. – Please do the free world a huge favour and vote this utter clownishly incompetent and wilfully ignorant buffoon out of the White House’.

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9 responses to “So much for the PGA Tour’s Health & Safety plan”

  1. Joseph Dreitler avatar

    Right on all counts.
    We can only hope.

  2. Fiona Hicks avatar

    Sorry but Seminole may be exclusive and difficult but it looked featureless to me, like playing on a well kept waste land. I thought the whole programme was dull with only a few bright spots. The indistinct audio seemed to mostly feature muffled banter (?) and complaints about duff reads. It is not exciting to see these guys carrying their own bags or wearing shorts, that’s what we see every day we play at home in the summer. The presenter was not good, and as for Bill Murray and Trump: one obviously couldn’t be a…d and the other – well least said… Very disappointing overall and I know I’m not the only one to think that. Thank goodness the charities benefit because the viewers certainly didn’t.

    1. michael smythe avatar

      Your absolutely right on all counts.

  3. Peter Noonan avatar

    Your comments on the Mask are based on what evidence defined globally?? there is a lot of confusion on this?? Was Mark the only person to touch the flag or did other people also touch the flag?
    With regard to using their own towels, did they swap them?? or swap shirts? i think you are reading too much into the first event. Also bear in mind that this event did not take place in Europe?

    1. John avatar

      Very sensible comment and could not agree more. So we’re gonna ban touching faces and shirts? Come on.

  4. Stephen M avatar

    I think the spitting is an issue and only occurred to me while watching. I do it myself to clean the ball and club head so that will have to stop. I’m off to get one of those sponges you can hang on the bag

  5. John Noonan avatar

    Why was the ‘Bleach & Dettol’ merchant allowed to intrude with his phone call. He uses every opportunity to canvass for the November election. The biggest cheater in Golf should not be allowed free access to the PGA!!

  6. michael smythe avatar

    Your absolutely right on all counts.

  7. Brian Ahearn avatar

    I think the whole event was staged nicely. Yes spitting is an issue but that can be sorted. Only one person touching the flag won’t work in events unless wiped after every group. Wearing of mask is a personal thing. But when crowds come back will be essential. This was a charity event and showed the relaxed side of professional golf. Can’t wait to have golf back.

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