It doesn’t surprise me that The officials running The Commercial Bank Qatar Masters later in the month have refused to pay a $3 Million appearance fee to Tiger Woods. Hassan al Nuaimi, the Qatar Golfing Association president stated in an interview, Tiger Woods just wasn’t worth it any longer, especially when the total prize money for the event is $2.5 Million.
From winning the Masters in 1997 until he had knee surgery after the 2008 US Open, Tiger Woods was golf around the world. I went to Thailand in 2000 on business, and Tiger was on huge billboards throughout the country. Every golf course had Tiger in it’s name somewhere. Tiger Woods brought casual fans who would otherwise be watching soccer, cricket, or rugby to the golf courses and televisions in numbers. That star has faded.
Professional golf suffered in the early days after Tiger, and I think learned a valuable lesson about grooming, and promoting their young stars. The first couple of years, the numbers were down all over the world for tournaments. Phil Mickelson couldn’t revive the game at home, and Lee Westwood couldn’t carry the European Tour. They couldn’t replace the legend.
With all of the young talent out there now, Tiger can’t expect to draw the interest he once did. Everyone wants to see him, but see him playing against Rory McIlroy. The PGA, as well as the remainder of the world tours now have young stars that people want to watch, and they are not so dependent on Tiger being the only draw.
I think Tiger’s announcement to play in the Farmers Insurance came on the heels of the pink slip from Qatar. After all, he was right there with the Abu Dhabi being played the previous week. Now he will have to travel half the way around the world to compete at Torrey Pines.
Golf has told Tiger they can now make it without him. That’s a hard pill to swallow at times, but father time does tend to catch up with all of us. Tiger Woods has a bunch of great golf to give us, the fans. He has more tournaments to win, and probably a couple of majors in him somewhere, and will still pull in fans when he has a piece of the lead, so I suppose he will have to share it with us here at home.
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