If there is one thing we have learned from the rich and famous, it’s that if you are in demand, you can demand things. There was a time when Van Halen could get a bowl of M&M’s sans the brown candy coated bites, when David Hasselhoff would require a cardboard cutout of himslef at every venue he played, and when Roy Munson could walk into any bowling alley he wanted and grab the pizza right off your plate.
There was also a time that Tiger Woods could demand a $3 million appearance fee for an overseas golf tournament. According to Qatar Golf Association President Hassan al Nuaimi, those days are over. A story out this week stated the appearance fee for Tiger was too hefty for the Commercialbank Qatar Masters.
There are a few ways to look at this story, with one being that Woods was willing to play the tournament in Qatar and was flatly denied because he is not the mega draw he used to be in the past. This is not completely outside the realm of possibility. Woods career has slowed the last few years due to injury, and while he is still a big ticket, he may not be worth the $3 million fee it is being said he is requesting. This may be the time in Tiger’s career where the appearance fees need to tick down a little or all together disappear.
The other way to look at this story is that Tiger never had any interest in playing the Qatar Masters Tournament, and the organizers are simply using Woods not appearing as an opportunity to use the golf star to get some pre-event publicity. To play in Qatar, Woods would have had to skip the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, an event he has won six times in his career.
We also saw this in December when the owner of the Palmer Coolum Resort stated he did not want Tiger at the Australian PGA Championship, a tournament Woods had no intention of playing. It should also be noted that in the case in Australia, Woods was replaced by a 26 foot T-Rex replica named “Jeff” that was erected between the ninth and tenth holes. This Masters event doesn’t smell nearly as desperate, and they may have respectfully denied his appearance fee. The fact that they have to talk about it though, shows Woods still has enough star power to create a stir.
While Tiger’s big money fees may be behind him, he is still one of the most popular and successful golfers on the planet. He could easily have the brown M&M’s extracted, the cardboard cutout of himself set up in the corner, and take the piece of extra cheese and pepperoni right out of your hands. If he starts winning major championships again, I am willing to bet he may still have a few more opportunities to name his price.