[Editor’s Note: Pinot Pete is a PGA Tour caddie and BroBible’s resident golf insider]
The PGA Tour’s drug testing policy is probably not on top of your list of things that are wrong with golf, but it should be. Especially after the comments coming from John Daly Tuesday night. Daly personally called out Commissioner Tim Finchem and Director of Ops Andy Padzer on their “bullshit” management skills. To be honest with you Finchem and Padzer don’t carry much clout with your’s truly either.
Imagine if you became the CEO of Pfizer a day before Viagra was discovered. You’d be praised, your company and product would soar through the roof, and expansion along with profits would not have an end in sight. That’s exactly what happened to Finchem when he took over right before of the emergence of one Eldrick T. Woods. But I digress.
The entire drug testing policy has gotten out of hand. There is no official record of who’s been “randomly tested” and when these tests took place. I can recall many times when there was a whisper to one high level player or another that they were on the block to pee in a cup the next week; and to take it easy over the weekend so nothing showed up on the results. I can also think of times when it may have been in the tour’s best interest to drug test a certain player that had recently fell off the sobriety wagon and they refused to because they needed their big names showing up to the following week’s tournament. In any case, take a listen to JD’s comments he’s spot on for a change.
As much as I hate to admit it, I whole heartily agree with all of what John has to say. Look, nothing is perfect. But the tour’s drug policy couldn’t be farther from it. The PGA Tour is the only major sports organization IN THE WORLD that does not release any information whenever it suspends one of its players. In fact, it flat out denies it when something of that magnitude goes down. Perfect example is when Dustin Johnson took his “leave of abscence” most recently. The tour will not ever create a media controversy and goes the extra mile to cover up any potential scandal that’s about to spring free. I can’t imagine the panic that went through the leadership back in 2009 when Tiger crashed his Caddy into the hydrant. That fire got so large even the mighty Tim Fenchem couldn’t save his golden goose.
But here again this all goes back to the root problem of the Tour. They don’t care about their players that aren’t major superstars and that is JD’s point. If someone of a lesser known variety gets in trouble, the suits at Sawgrass turn a blind ear to any cry for help. Which is why Daly is so set off about their double-standards. Finchem would love nothing more than give JD a lifetime ban. He is the exact opposite of the role model that they mold the new players to be. And I think he is looking for any excuse possible to completely banish him from play here in the states. The PGA Tour adheres that all of its players are upstanding role models that love golf and care about charity. While this is almost completely true, it still isn’t 100%. There are plenty of bad apples out here and in my humble professional opinion, the sooner they publicly recognize that, the better.
In any case, this is a win-win for Long John and a damned if you do, damned if you don’t for the tour. If they do end up testing him on Friday in retaliation, he will be proven right. If not, they are going to look like he bullied them into not testing him which gives him even more ammunition the next time it happens. Good on you JD.