Does Golf Lack Rivalries?
By Kickntrue on 11/3/09
ESPN's Jason Sobel argues that the nature of golf doesn't lend itself to rivalries.
... golf includes so many elite pros at the highest level that it's difficult to find any sort of continuity in conflicts at the top of the leaderboard.

Chalk this up to three reasons: Deeper fields, in which seemingly every player has a chance to contend on any given week; very few match play tournaments on the annual schedule, relegating the number of head-to-head instances; and gentlemanly players, many of whom would rather call a penalty against themselves than cause a mini-firestorm by pointing out the faux pas of a playing partner.
I get his point, but I'm not buying it. If there was another player even as close to Tiger Woods on the PGA Tour, there would be a legit rivalry. Eh- Phil closed the year strong, maybe he'll finally put a year or two together to battle Tiger head to head. I will give Sobel this- it is hard to have a rivalry when what you really need is the best players playing their best ON THE SAME WEEK, which is hard to get sometimes.

Fortunately- I DO have a solution. More Match Play.

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[ comments ]
bducharm says:
I agree there are not head to head rivals playing each week. It definitely would be more compelling. Tiger has a lot to do with this. However, you can look back just a few years ago (OK, maybe more than a few) to the days when Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, Watson, Floyd, Miller, etc. were playing. There were many more "top-notch" players that could compete each week. We keep hearing of these young guns coming up - Mahan, Kim, McIlroy, Ishikawa, Garcia(?), etc. Each time they compete against Tiger, it's wilt-city!!!
mmontisano says:
i think there are rivalries, but we just don't hear about them because it could be Marc Turnesa against Will MacKenzie. we just can't know for sure.

i would like to start a rivalry by pitting all of these super young guys against each other on live tv. get Rickie Fowler, Jamie Lovemark, Rory McIlroy and Ryo Ishikowa together and have them fight it out for some serious money. put Danny Lee in there as an alternate. these kids are golf's future, so lets try to liven it up early so we can have great tv coming out way for the next 20 years.
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