Even a Year Later Ryder Cup is a Mighty Profit Maker
PAIRINGS AND DOLLARS: While the captains are laboring over initial pairings at the Ryder Cup, the organizers are getting ready to divide the spoils.
Even with the year delay, it looks as if the 34th Ryder Cup Matches will yield a substantial take for its sponsors. Gross receipts are expected to be around 35 million (about $54 million), with a profit of about 9 million ($14 million) for the PGA European Tour and European players associations, says The Times of London, one of Britains leading newspapers. (Compare that to the $16 million profit said to have come to the PGA of America from the 1999 event in Brookline, Mass.)
European golf authorities recently agreed to reorganize the distribution of Ryder Cup monies, The Times reports. The European Tour gets about two-thirds, and the PGA of Europe gets 20 percent. To allow for those checks, the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland will see its share drop from 50 percent to 20 percent.
For the Birmingham area, the event will generate about 250 million ($390 million), said an official of the DeVere Group, owner of The Belfry. DeVere spent 500,000 ($780,000) marketing the Ryder Cup for its intended date, and another 350,000 ($546,000) after the delay caused by September 11.
Another item expected to cut into profits is security, the cost of which has jumped 400 percent over the last year, reported Londons Financial Times.
About 180,000 fans are expected at The Belfry during the week.
TICKET TO RYDER: Golf companies from the apparel side to the equipment manufacturers all know this is a showcase week for the game, so they want their products close to the action. Same goes for golf cart makers. Club Car, the Augusta, Ga., company that divides most of the worlds cart market with cross-town competitor E-Z-GO, has sent 150 vehicles to The Belfry for use by both teams, as well as media, grounds staff, security and others who need wheels to get around.
Club Car has carts on courses in 132 countries, but the Ryder exposure will help broaden its foothold in Europe, the company says.
Oh, and captains Curtis Strange and Sam Torrance get to keep their carts after the competition. Now, thats a different way to pick up the groceries.
MORE GREEN BEING SPENT ON GREENS?: Probably the folks at United Turf Industries, makers of SofTrak artificial putting greens, gaze out of airplane windows and wish they could pick out one of their products next to all the backyard swimming pools they see. The way things are going, that day may be getting closer.
UTI, based in Wichita, Kan., reports it has increased its dealerships by 400 percent ' thats 13 this year, compared to just three in 2001. There are 60 SofTrak dealers worldwide, mostly in North America, but also in Puerto Rico, Taiwan and South Korea.
SofTrak greens have a special softer, denser synthetic fiber that closely matches the behavior of real turf, says UTI.
Watch: Tiger birdies 3 of 4 to move one back
Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off in his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.
Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which he walked in.
Walking in the par putt at No. 2. pic.twitter.com/zuSGZmVL3z— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 18, 2018
A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.
A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.
Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.
Tiger gets it to 9-under.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 18, 2018
He's 4 shots back. pic.twitter.com/cAZtM14SlJ
Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at the par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.
His momentum was slowed by his first bogey of the day at No. 9, the product of an errant drive and its ensuing complications. As a result, Woods made the turn 2 under on his round, 9 under for the week, and still five off the lead, like when he started the day.
Drive on 9 is approximately 824 yards off-line right. Approximately.— Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) March 18, 2018
Slides by. Bogey. That’s deflating. Turns at -9 and needs to go lights-out coming home to have any chance.— Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) March 18, 2018
But Woods wouldn't wait long to make up for his mistake, immediately responding with another flagged iron and another birdie at No. 10.
He continued his assault on Bay Hill's par-5s at the 12th, getting up and down from the sand for a birdie-4 that moved him to 11 under par, just two off the lead.
And with this roll at 13 giving him his third birdie in four holes, the charge was officially on, with Woods just one back.
Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational
Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.
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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course
ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.
McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.
“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”
This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.
A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.
McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.
“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”
As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.
“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”
Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders
PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.
She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.
Her confidence is high.
“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”
Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.
Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.
“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”
Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.
“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”
Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.
“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”
That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.