FARMINGTON — It’s not likely many golf fans have heard of Sung-jae Im, Scott Langley, Kyoung Hoon-Lee, Sebastian Munoz or Chase Wright.
On the other hand, most golf fans have certainly heard of John Daly and Zach Johnson, not to mention Tom Lehman, Stewart Cink, Jimmy Walker, Bubba Watson, Ernie Els, David Duval, Webb Simpson, and David Toms.
The first group features the current top five money-winners on the PGA Web.com Tour, which will be making its annual stop in Utah this week at Oakridge Country Club.
The second group includes all major winners on the PGA Tour over the past couple of decades, who have each played in Utah in previous iterations of the Web.com event. Daly and Johnson both won the Utah tournament, while the others finished anywhere from fourth place to missing the cut.
Local golf fans would probably flock to Oakridge this week to watch the latter group of major champions, but don’t really care about players they haven’t heard of, even if they’re world-class golfers.
“The best players on this tour can play on the PGA Tour, it’s proven every year.”
That’s the conundrum the Web.com Tour has always faced during its 29 years of existence when it has also been known as the Ben Hogan Tour, Nike Tour, Buy.com. Tour or Nationwide Tour. It features some of the best golfers in the world. But the world doesn’t know which golfers are going to turn out to be great.
You can compare it to minor league baseball. Who knew that David Ortiz would eventually become a major league star when he was playing for the Salt Lake Buzz a couple of decades ago? Mike Trout may have been a little more obvious when he played briefly in Salt Lake before playing with the Los Angeles Angels, but still, who knew he’d and up being arguably the best player in baseball when he was playing at Smith’s Ballpark?
Many of the golfers in this week’s tournament at Oakridge, which begins Thursday and runs through Sunday, will be household names someday. It just may not happen for a few years.
It used to be that some of the very best golfers could skip the Web.com Tour and play right away on the PGA Tour as guys like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson did or more recently, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. But the way it is set up now, it’s very difficult to get on the …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News