PGA Tour boss rues lack of expansion outside U.S

Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:03pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Tim Finchem says he regrets that the PGA Tour has not expanded more globally during his long tenure as commissioner, while at the same time he is confident that golf has cemented its place in the Olympic Games.

Speaking on Tuesday ahead of this week's season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta, Finchem addressed a variety of issues in his final formal news conference after just over 22 years as boss of the U.S.-based circuit.

Asked about his regrets as he prepares to step down at the end of the year, he spoke of only one, not quite invoking Frank Sinatra's famous line of "too few to mention" though he came very close.

"The one regret would be thus far I haven't been able to make a little more progress on the global effort," said Finchem, who was appointed commissioner in 1994 shortly before Tiger Woods enrolled at Stanford University on a golf scholarship.

"We've done a lot of great things globally. I would have liked to have seen a little bit more acceleration there but ... there were other factors at work that impacted that situation globally."

Under Finchem's watch, the PGA Tour has created the Presidents Cup -- a biennial Ryder Cup-style event pitting the United States against an International team of players from the rest of the world excluding Europe -- and has staged a few tournaments outside the U.S.

But hopes of creating a quasi-world tour featuring tournaments everywhere from Sydney to Seoul and Santiago have fallen through amid the realities of American television demands and other factors.

BULLISH FINCHEM   Continued...

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem attends a news conference during the 2015 Presidents Cup golf tournament in Incheon, South Korea, October 10, 2015.   REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji