On Sunday evening, I was roaming through the San Jose airport when I stumbled into one of the sports bars for some grub only to see some familiar faces. Chad Campbell, Paul Goydos and Dean Wilson were all huddled in a corner of the bar, enjoying some adult beverages as they, like any male in the world, anxiously awaited with giddy excitement their flight to Las Vegas.
No matter your age or level of fame, landing at McCarran Airport is one of the true mysteries left in this world. You don't know what will happen over the next however many days, but you do know it will be memorable. This week, those three players, along with a list of others, will take over Sin City for the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Childrens Open, a PGA Tour event in Las Vegas. As any golfer knows, alcohol and gambling are essential crutches to keep this sport alive, so my question is this: Why not have this event earlier in the season when people still care about golf?
Sure, the field isn't terrible. Anthony Kim will be there, along with Hunter Mahan, John Daly (obviously) and Rickie Fowler. It's just ... Vegas and golf are a match made in heaven (hell?), so why not make it a marquee event during the season, when the top names in golf are still excited about PGA Tour events.
You're telling me if this tournament was a few weeks between two big events, Phil Mickelson isn't flying to Vegas from California to play and gamble? We all know from recent events that Tiger Woods has been a Vegas fan, so if this event brought in some big hitters, maybe Woods could pencil this in, in his limited schedule.
Sure, it might be a stretch, but the Timberlake should be a marquee event. It has all the makings of a great golf tournament: a solid name to go with the event (JT), a charity that benefits from it (Shriners) and a place that everyone, and I mean everyone, likes to visit. If Harbour Town is the place you take the wife and kids, Vegas is where you bunk up with two other PGA Tour stars and enjoy the life you've built for yourself.
It's a great Fall Series event, and brings attention to an otherwise pointless time in the golf season, but the event should be moved so that it gets more attention.