Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Players: It's worth talking about

In case you couldn’t tell, the PGA Tour is very proud of its showcase event - The Players.

Very proud.

And why not?

It’s one of the best events in golf, so good it’s shortened its name. Now it’s just The Players, not The Players Championship. Sorta like Shaq and Michael and the Masters.

This year, there’s a spectacular new clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., a reworked golf course and a new date.

Along with all of those things is a renewed discussion as to whether The Players is golf’s fifth major. It’s not a new discussion, just framed slightly differently this year because of all the changes.

Professional golf has four major championships and that’s enough.

What The Players has become is an event that stands alone, as good or better in some ways than the majors. It doesn’t count in Grand Slam discussions nor in Tiger Woods’ major championship tally but that isn’t necessary.

The Players is unique.

It’s special because of what it is and where it is. It has its own history and its own image.

It has the 17th hole.

It’s on every player’s schedule and it will keep golf fans on their couches this weekend watching how it unfolds.

There’s a reason why people talk about The Players as much as they do.

It’s worth talking about.