Golf News

PGA Tour is back, and the focus is again on the course

PGA Tour is back, and the focus is again on the course

On Thursday, Sahith Theegala made six birdies in a row to start his back nine on the way to a 9-under 64 at the Plantation course in Hawaii and the first-round lead of the Sentry Tournament of Champions, the inaugural event of the 2024 PGA Tour season.

And with that, golf fans were perhaps able to think about golf as a sport again rather than as a fractured business. Golf is once again a sport where fans can watch players hit good and bad shots, make remarkable recoveries and do things with a club and ball that the recreational golfer can only dream of.

That hasn’t necessarily been true for the last three months. As the PGA Tour transitioned back to a schedule where the season and the calendar year start at the same time, the tour was left with a three-month period of very little consequential golf. While that is supposed to be an off-season for the game’s biggest names, the tour unfortunately found that time filled with many different headlines. There was the news of Jon Rahm jumping to the LIV Tour, the tour negotiating against a Dec. 31 deadline for a new business structure with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and with only a few unofficial events in December for a distraction from the business end of the game.

But Thursday, at least for a few hours, it was again about golf. It was about a red-hot start for players like Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele. It was about talk of Scottie Scheffler being the No. 1 player in the world, or talk of how long it will take Viktor Hovland to get to No. 1. And it was about a sizzling back nine by Theegala, a burgeoning star on the tour.

This all led up to Chris Kirk’s victory, as he capped off a bogey-free 9-under 64 on Sunday to win his sixth PGA Tour title with a 72-hole total of 29-under 263 and one-stroke better than Theegala.

This week, the PGA Tour heads to Honolulu for the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club.

More golf, less talk about ledgers.

If golf fans have become disgruntled with the professional game in recent months, it can be blamed on the ongoing debate and sniping from the two sides of the PGA Tour/Liv battle. But it can also be blamed in part to not having top-level golf to watch on television. It is football season, after all, and both the NFL and the college game have been dominating the sports world. The PGA Tour has specifically crafted a schedule that avoids the NFL as much as possible. It’s unfortunate that lull in the professional golf world was filled with news that…


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Golfweek…