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Jay Busbee

The Grand Slam of Golf hinges on Phil Mickelson's attendance

Jay Busbee
Devil Ball Golf

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It seems like a great idea -- bring the winners of each of the season's four majors together in Bermuda for a little winner-take-all event to close out the year. And yet, for whatever reason, it doesn't seem to be sticking. And now, it could be done in Bermuda.

A Bermuda newspaper, linked by Golf Digest's Local Knowledge, noted that Bermuda's continued participation in hosting the tournament hinges on the participation of a certain green-jacketed burger lover:

The tournament costs Bermuda's taxpayers approximately $1.5 million a year to stage, although in the past the Premier has said the event's media value is worth $7 million in worldwide coverage on the TNT television channel. But last week [Bermuda Premier Ewart] Brown said the Department was waiting to see if Bermuda would receive a "marquee name" for this year's tournament before deciding if Bermuda will host next year's tournament.

That marquee name, of course, is Phil Mickelson, since -- no offense to Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer -- he's the only one who's going to turn some heads. If Mickelson declines to play in the Oct. 9-10 event, next up would be Tiger Woods, and if he bails, Ernie Els.

This is the final season of Bermuda's contract with the PGA Tour to host the event, and while both sides continue to want the event in Bermuda -- which is a lovely place for a golf weekend -- the truth is that the big names, either because of injury or failure to win, just haven't made the trip.

Beyond that, the Grand Slam is a victim of championship fatigue. Think about it -- after the PGA Championship ends, you'll have the FedEx Cup and the Ryder Cup before you even get to the Grand Slam. It's like boxing; you can only have so many different cups and championships before people just tune out.

Still, if the Grand Slam can lure a big name, all gets forgiven. And since this is a tournament where even the last-place finisher snags a $200,000 check, it's worth a plane flight and 36 holes for the players, wouldn't you say?

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