It seems the high-and-mighty PGA Tour might finally be realizing that it's not the only show in town. Like many a behemoth before it that assumed it would be at the top of the heap simply because it had always been at the top of the heap, the PGA Tour has been slow to adapt to the changing golf environment, but at last, change it has.
In its battle to assert supremacy over new No. 1 Lee Westwood, the PGA Tour is apparently the first one to blink. Westwood had been told he would only be permitted to play in 10 events in the United States, but he wanted to play in 11, counting the St. Jude Classic in Memphis. (He won the event last year.) But the PGA Tour said he could play in only 10, right?
Guess what? Westwood is going to be playing in 11 events.
The fact that the PGA Tour backed down is significant, as it generally only rolls over like that for Tiger Woods. But it's yet another signal that the tour is realizing that it may not hold ultimate domination over the world of golf. With Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter all deciding to play significant stretches of their 2011 schedule overseas, the tour finds itself bereft of many of the most talented players in golf.
Certainly, everyone still wants to play in the United States; many of the world's finest tournaments are still here, along with most of the world's golf legends. But the PGA Tour has to continue to recognize that what has brought them to this point won't bring them any further. It's a new world out there, and it's not completely enamored of the PGA Tour.