The last three months of the year are known as the silly season of the golf calendar, with a series of unorthodox or unique events around the world that have different formats or lucrative appearance fees. Like most other sports, Asia has the fastest growing golf populations, and has become a critical part of the world tour this time of year.
It's a such a key portion of the world for golf development that Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour have now sanctioned two tournaments in Asia as official FedExCup events with full points and Masters invites on the line. Last week, Ryan Moore won the inaugural Asian FedExCup event, the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur and not the Tour has swung up to China for the WGC-HSBC Champions event. The two tournaments should be mainstays on the new wraparound schedule going forward.
This is a tournament in Shanghai that's annually drawn some of the best players in the world, thanks to those nice appearance fees, and now it has the imprimatur of the PGA Tour as well. All the action in Asia this time of year also results in some of the best photos and promo activities of the season.
Last year, Tiger and Phil wielded weaponry on stage with the Shanghai skyline in the background. Tiger was in China earlier this week for your typical silly season event, a one-on-one cash-and-giggles "Match at Mission Hills" against Rory McIroy that reportedly netted each $1.5 million for showing up.
Tiger bailed on the tourney this week (he'll be cashing an appearance fee check in Turkey next month), but Phil, Rory and Jason Dufner were on hand for the promo show this year. And there were some awesome photos of these world class golfers out of their natural habitat.