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Saturday’s finish at the Farmers Insurance Open could become an annual tradition.

The only question is whether any other tournaments follow suit.

Farmers Insurance CEO Jeff Dailey told the San Diego Union-Tribune this week that the tournament will likely maintain its Wednesday-Saturday schedule for the foreseeable future. That change allows the Farmers not to run afoul of Sunday’s NFL conference championship games, and the Golf Channel is using the open house at Torrey Pines’ South Course to broadcast, for the first time, the round. end of an event at Advocates Pro Golf. Association, a circuit designed to promote diversity in sport.

Asked if the Farmers could possibly go back to their traditional Sunday finale, Dailey told the newspaper: “I don’t think so. Strong ratings are important to us, but we still get a lot of business benefits because we use this as motivation for our top agents across the country. That business benefit to us is probably stronger than a few incremental rating points. If you take away the ratings, I like the end of Saturday better.”

Both the third and final rounds of Farmers were broadcast on CBS, in prime time.

The altered schedule meant there were no pro-ams earlier in the week, which is a “$1 million net hit” for the event, according to tournament director Marty Gorsich, but he said losses could be made up in other ways. like a first hit. gala.

“All other items are fine,” Gorsich told the newspaper. “I don’t see anything in our old format that says, ‘We have to go back to that.’ People watching our event on national TV on Friday, it could take a year for people to figure that out. This is how tradition is built. It doesn’t start in the first year. It’s the consistency over time for people to learn it and adopt it.”

Could other tournaments adopt the same schedule?

The first three Tour events of the new year – Sentry Tournament of Champions (final week of regular season), Sony Open (wild card playoff round) and American Express (division playoff round) – all finish late on Sunday, when the highly The popular NFL season is coming to an end. NFL games accounted for 48 of the 50 most-watched television shows during the regular season, when the Tour’s fall schedule begins.

Dailey told the newspaper that the date change has been popular with players.

“I won’t say who,” he said, “but someone’s prediction was that three or four more tournaments could also change their dates.”


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