“Hooks and Slices” will bring you our view on whats happening in the golf world.
It was announced yesterday that Tiger Woods will play in the Australian Masters in Melbourne this year. That will be huge for the tournament which is held form November 12-15. Woods rarely plays in the PGA’s Fall series which will be playing The Children’s Miracle Network Classic that same week.
There has been much discussion lately concerning the PGA Tour and its inability to get all the players to appear at all the tour’s events. All the discussion can be translated into the question each tournament director asks; “How do we get Tiger Woods to play in our tournament?” The European Tour, The Australian Tour, The Asian Tour and all the other World Tours have known the answer for years. You pay him. Woods will receive a cool 3 million for playing in the Australian Masters and that’s guaranteed. If he happens to play well, he’ll earn some more cash also, but nowhere near his appearance fee. The entire purse for the tournament is $1,500,000. The winner will take home $270,000. That’s pocket change for Woods.
I have no problem with Woods flying to the other side of the world to play for three million. I mean if he was to play in the U.S. PGA Tour event that week the winners share is only $846,000. Let’s see; 3 million guaranteed and a long trip on my private plane or a chance to win less than 1 million and a 20 minute drive to the course. I’ll take the 3 mil and check out some kangaroos and the Great Barrier Reef while I’m down there. Tiger loves to scuba, so this is kind of like a paid vacation for him, a really well paid vacation.
I am sure that there will be plenty of discussion about Tiger’s choice to play in Australia but I have no issues with it. He plays when and where he wants. Tim Finchem and the Tournament Directors have been trying to figure a way to keep their tournaments from losing revenue in these difficult financial times. There have been calls to try and force all the players to make appearances at all regular tour events over a period of three or four years. This will be difficult to legislate. I doubt many of the players would accept a rule that forces them to play anywhere they do not want to. Finchem has earned the reputation of giving Woods anything he wants. Woods already has his own tournament, The Chevron World Challenge and he hosts The A.T. &T. National in July. Finchem lured Tiger to the National with a July 4th date and ties to the military which Tiger has an affinity for. Unfortunately, Finchem does not have enough tricks to get Tiger to spend more time playing more PGA Tour events. The PGA Tour does not pay appearance fees. Finchem needs to work other angles to ensure the tour keeps its current sponsors and to find replacements for those they have lost. He just can’t use Woods as the end all enticement for every tournament.
If you want a guarantee that Tiger will play in your tournament the answer is simple: call it a major or pay him major bucks. It’s a free country and Woods believes in our system of free enterprise and any other one that will pay him the big dollars. A guy has to earn a living, doesn’t he?