Turns out like a lot of millions of people watch the Masters, which frankly is not a surprise. Not only is it the most watched golf tournament every year, but when we finally did get to Sunday and the final round basically started on time, we had two of the best players on earth in the final group, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka. I do not believe that a single person thought, huh, they play on different golf tours. But it was a storyline going into the Masters. I don't think it was really a storyline coming out of the Masters. Jerry Foltz, who is a one of the top golf commentators for the live tour.
You can hear them or watch them on the CW at Jerry Foltz GC, which now stands for just Golf Commentator, I'm told. And he joins us on the Adam Gold show. First of all, first time we have spoken. I'm a fan. How are you? I'm doing great, Adam. You come with very high regards from mutual friends there in Raleigh.
So I'm looking forward to chatting with you. They really don't know what they're talking about, but they do a good job at other areas of their life. So I know a lot of people and I thought this was going to be a much bigger deal in the lead up to the to the start. I thought that Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, it would be a constant conversation at Augusta National about the PGA Tour, live, how the Masters views it all.
And we really had nothing like crickets. Nobody was talking about it. Is that a good thing? Well, yes, it is a good thing.
Absolutely. Because that's ultimately where golf will end up once the dust settles, which is taking a lot longer than I thought it would. But yeah, that's that's a very good thing because there's a new league in town and they're not going away anytime soon. And no matter how much fighting goes on against it or how much, you know, one sided narrative is is constructed toward it. It's not going anywhere. And the fans basically are saying, I think almost unanimously, but not unanimously.
But in large part, we're tired of it enough with the pettiness. And by the way, when you get on the property to Augusta National, whether your media, whether you're a player, whether you're a TV person, whether you're a fan, you play by Augusta's rules. And that's that's very obvious.
You walk on eggshells a little bit around there. And so it wasn't Augusta didn't want it to be an issue, which they never did. Then the media was not going to propagate that issue too much before fear of not being able to come back.
Quite honestly, that that is true. We're talking with Jerry Foltz here, who was a golf commentator for live golf. You can watch their events on the CW here in Raleigh.
It's Channel 22. So there was a lot of there were there were a lot of people, if I can construct the sentence in proper English, there were a lot of people who were complaining that Phil Mickelson was not interviewed by CBS after the tournament. They did eventually get to Brooks Koepka, but they did not interview Phil. And it occurred to me because I really didn't miss it necessarily, although I know Amanda Brenner and I know her husband very well, that we had we saw almost nothing from Amanda, especially on Sunday through with however many holes they played. There were no interviews.
I think the Masters basically just said, you know what, out of just playing it safe, we're going to do none of that. Is that a fair read on why? Because Phil is a big story. Yeah, I don't know. I have no idea why he wasn't interviewed. I'll find out next week when I talk to him in Australia, but it could be that he said no. It could be that he, you know, as he did when he went into the champions dinner, he didn't want to be a disruptive force there. He wanted to be appreciative of the fact that they did the right thing and allowed the live players to play that were currently qualified.
That could be a part of it. It could be that CBS didn't want to interview him. You know, they didn't really show Patrick Reed until he really, really, really got in the mix late Sunday.
He was kind of, you know, invisible out there for the most part. The only thing I wonder about is if it were Jordan Spieth or Scottie Scheffler or Rory McElroy who unfortunately missed the cut. But if it was them who rallied and shot 65 on Sunday to finish second, would we have heard from them? Was there a double standard there? And to be quite honest, I can't really hold hard feelings against them if there is, because they went a lot farther than anybody else went in terms of trying to just settle down the, you know, quit pumping the tires of the anti-live people.
So if that's what Augusta decided, that's fine. I think we all would have loved to have heard from him. He has loved him or hate him. He's a he's a galvanizing figure in golf and people do enjoy hearing from him, especially when that personality started to come out more and more like the old Phil during the week.
Phil played great. I watched his press conference after in the interview room. There was one question. It was actually a back to back question about, you know, basically saying you've ruined your reputation.
Do you think this had something, you know, might help repair that? And Phil was like, it's two different things. And he was right about that.
Clearly, somebody wanted to pose this as a Phil is the rebel. But the Masters was never go and they were never going to change their criteria. The qualified players are always going to be the qualified players. I don't think the Masters will change that. I don't think the other majors will change it as well either, because then it just opens them up to be painted as anti-live.
And I'm you know, I'm more I think you I think you're right, but I think you might be wrong in one sense. I think they will change their qualifying criteria to include more live players in the future. I don't think anybody who's ahead of state, be it Fred Ridley or Martin slumbers or Mike Wan or Seth Wahl, the four organizing bodies of the majors, want to hold a major that has an asterisk by it because they didn't have the best possible players in their field. I think they they all believe that they are above politics in the game of golf. And I think eventually, whether it's in the near future or maybe next year or shortly thereafter, where now because the official world golf rankings are essentially being used as a political tool by Jay Monahan, to squeeze out the live players in time from the majors, I think they will react to that and basically make the official world golf rankings as a qualification tool for their majors essentially obsolete.
I want to ask you real quick because I'm going to get to the world golf rankings in a second. Also the assertion, really an accusation that Jay Monahan is manipulating it. But I just want to get to what when you when you said earlier, when the dust settles, what do you mean by the dust settling? I think we're getting we're getting we made a big step this past weekend by quieting so many of the critics. There has been a one sided narrative out there against live that's been propagated by whether it's verbally been encouraged or policy wise, been told or what have you that had been that has been propagated by Ponte Vedra. And those that are in bed with them and who are beholden to them have taken a one sided stance that is completely anti live. Now, I understand the product is different and you may not like for whatever reasons the source of the funding. But the fact is, it's a new league in town.
They're not going anywhere. It's happened in other sports in the almost identical way. And of course, when you have a monopoly that's starting to lose a little bit of their share, if you will, that is going to that is going to be responded with by aggression and some sort of fight, which is what the PGA Tour is understandably doing. Look, if I were Jay Monahan, I don't think I'd do anything different than what he's done. Quite honestly, that's the way you react when you feel threatened as an entity.
And that's I know they feel threatened. I know that ideally in a kind of altruistic world, live golf would love to have been, like they said, additive to the sport. Just bring another another style of watching golf to help bring in viewers that weren't watching golf. The golf TV product of old has gotten stale and it's gotten and it's it's so over. I mean, there's so much golf to watch on TV now that the market share was dropping. The game wasn't growing from a TV perspective, and that was, by and large, one of the big things live had in mind by creating the product they did and the style in which they show it to bring in younger viewers, to bring in people who wouldn't ordinarily watch golf and to make it look fun and exciting and fast.
Jerry Foltz is joining us here on the Adam Gold show golf commentator for live golf. I'm going to make sure that everybody understands that I am saying this and not you. I would like you to react to it. I'd never believed for a second that it was created to be additive, though. Greg Norman said that. But if it was supposed to be additive, it wouldn't have been a 14. Actually, it was proposed as a 15 event tour because there's just no way that you could have something added on to the PGA tour, where guys were playing anywhere from 15 to 20 times and have a 15 tour series that was supposed to be additive. I think and again, I could be wrong here, but I think that Norman's plan all along was to raid the tour, take the best players, create what he wanted back 40 years ago, a world tour and leave the PGA tour with what was left. I think that's what he wanted to do. I never thought it was additive.
Well, you don't you're not alone in that opinion by any means. I would disagree. I know originally it was going to be a 10 event series and maybe 12 and then it went to 14. But if you look at the scheduling of those four, the eight events last year and the 14 events this year, they are up against the what you can now legitimately call the lower tier PGA tour events.
They were they were put into those positions on purpose. They weren't they didn't want to go up against the bigger events. And that the now what are called elevated events are obviously the majors, because they wanted those players if if given the right to have the ability to play their favorite tournaments and still play live. Now, also going forward, there's going to be there's a lot of talk about the teams expanding their rosters. We're only four play each week, but they have other guys on the team that they can slot in and slot out. And and therefore allow many more guys to play more events worldwide if and when that ever becomes an option for them. Jerry Foltz is joining us here on the Adam Gold show. So the next step is the official world golf rankings.
I've said this before. I believe live deserves points. I think they probably need to make some adjustments to the structure of the tour. I know they've tried to align with a tour called Mina, which is a small tour in Asia.
They probably need to change some of the structure, maybe expand the field size in order to meet some criteria. But the tour is not just the PG. The rankings are not just the PGA tour. It's the DP World Tour. It's the four majors.
It's the Association of Tours, the PGA tour. They might have an influence, an influential part of this, but it's everybody. I mean, I guess you could chuckle. Maybe I'm naive about this, but I don't know. You know a lot more than most anybody I talk to.
Absolutely no. Yeah. You got on the board of the official world golf rankings is an official from Augusta National. You have Seth Wall, Mike Wan and you have Martin Slumbers, the chairman of it.
The non stakeholder, if you will, that's on the board is Peter Dawson, who used to be the CEO of the RNA. So there's a lot of Asian tour is represented. And then the Federation of World Tours is also represented. Many of them, especially the DP World Tour, the European tour, is a financial partner with the PGA tour being heavily invested now in the world tour. And not really. I don't know if they're autonomous in making their own decisions in that regard now. So there is anybody who thinks that Jay Monahan doesn't yield the most power on that board.
I think might might be a little Pollyannish, if you don't mind my saying. And it is the reason I say it's used as a political tool by Monahan is because his rights fees for his domestic rights holder, CBS Golf Channel NBC, has a guaranteed strength of field in the events that they such televised. And if the PGA Tour doesn't deliver that strength of field, then I believe the rights fees can be adjusted accordingly, which means they would lose money. So in that that strength of field is calculated based on official world golf ranking average. So obviously there is a huge vested interest on the PGA Tour's behalf in that regard financially to keep their rankings as high as possible. They had a reset of points distribution just last year. And the only tours that went up in rankings and ranking points that they were getting were the PGA Tour and the Corn Ferry Tour, where across the board, completely across the board, all the other world tours were given less points. Well, look, I don't understand exactly how the point distribution works.
I do know this. Field size matters. We've all we've always heard that size matters, but field size matters to the world rankings now. And the smaller fields, even though you'll have theoretically the better players, the smaller fields should diminish, at least in some way, the points. And I mean, that's basically the world rankings had been the change in the had been in the works for a couple of years before we got to this point.
So I I don't know what the ultimate breakdown. I know what the points used to be. If you want a major, you got like you get 100 points for winning a major, whatever, whatever it is you got. I do know that Brooks Koepcke went from 118 to 39 for finishing second. Phil Mickelson went from 425 to 70. Was it 72 in the official World Golf ranking? So the majors, even with a smaller, but the majors are different.
So I don't know how the total impact is. Again, I think they deserve points. They're just going to and I think they'll get them if they adjust their field size and probably adjust the way the tour set up.
No, no, no, no. Three things come to mind in that argument. Number one, they're going to be extremely obsolete as soon as one major and then the others will fall in line. So look, enough you guys enough with this World Golf rankings. We need the best possible field we can get. We're going to adopt one of these alternative ranking systems or we're going to create our own to guarantee that we have the best field. Now, in terms of field size, the PGA Tour next year is going to their elevated events with a very small field as well. What is it, 50 players and anybody who thinks they're going to end up giving themselves less points is nuts. Those with the strength of field will be so high based on their rankings. And I call their rankings. So WGR, sorry, I know that's a misnomer because it is supposedly an independent body, but then they're going to get a lot of points as well.
So I think it's it's almost obsolete. And the third thing that comes to mind is what is the WGR? Why are these criteria there?
Why is there qualification? Should it not be who is the best golfer in the world judged by who is the best golfer in the world based on how they play against the other best golfer in the golfers in the world? And there are another other ranking systems out there that do that right now. TGR comes to mind, which is just basically handicapping the entire world of professional golfers based on their head to head competition as I has their own with a different strength of field rating.
And then data golf has one that's pretty good as well. Now, in all of those, Phil Nicholson and Brooks Koepke were well down based on their play in the last two years, a year and a half. So that's that's not a surprise. They just played great. But anybody who thinks that they aren't amongst the top 100 players in the world typically would be, I think, a little mistaken. But they didn't they hadn't proven it lately. So I think they're right. Their rankings weren't all that inaccurate.
They just happened to play great. But I think moving forward, if you want a ranking, it has to be an unbiased ranking. It can't be political or can't be criteria based on. I want to know the best player is for the last six months, year, 18 months, whatever the sampling size is across the globe for a fair and accurate ranking. And to do that, you need someone who's not involved in the game, who doesn't have an axe to grind. I don't disagree with that at all. Not a single percent.
I, I think that the rankings don't reflect exactly who the best players in the world are because the players who have chosen to go to live and they did they did this. And we have to cut this short. This has been fun anyway. But the they they made that decision a year ago knowing full well what was going to happen. At least they should have. They should have knowing the possibility of what might happen. Yeah.
Yeah. They knew they were going to not receive points except when they played in majors for the better part of a year. I mean, if even if the World Golf Rankings gave them points, there was still going to be an 18 month lag time before before that happened, just following the rules as they were stated. The tour had to be in existence for a full year before points were going to be awarded. And there had to be certain criteria met.
So they had to know that if they if they looked into it, they made their decision understanding that. And that's fine. Again, I hope they get points and I hope that the World Golf Rankings more accurately reflect. We all became Smith's still a top 10 player in the world. Walking demon Abe answer top, you know, 35 or so players in the world. Kepka belongs in the top 10 or 15 now that he's healthy for sure. I don't know how many other players on that tour are legitimately top 50, but we know that there are several of them that are not reflected in the rankings right now.
You are right now. Had we been getting to the point that I think that it lived deserves from the very beginning and that could have happened quite easily on the WGR's part because they've done it before with other tours, but they were tours that fell under the PGA tours umbrella. Whether it would be PGA Tour China who got right points their first season PGA Tour Latin America all of those who got points their very first season, but you look at Charles Howell and Paul Casey who had we been getting points had played well enough. Extremely well leading up to the Masters where they would have qualified based on that criteria as well. So there's really only two players, maybe three this year that were left out, but in the future because they're getting squeezed out.
There's going to be a lot more and therein lies the emphasis. I think on behalf of the majors to gather together and say look we we can't we can't get involved. We can't stay involved in this game by the way, enjoy Australia. I know you guys are headed there and I appreciate your time and Charles Howell could have stayed at home for the Masters.
He didn't have to he could have not rented out his house maybe to Tiger or something like that Jerry Foltz at Jerry Foltz GC on Twitter. I'd love to do it again, sir. Anytime Adam appreciate your time Jerry Foltz here and again next not this week. They're off this week next week on the CW you get another live event again. I've said this before the product the TV product is very good very very good.
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