The Consequences of Tiger - and an Easy Solution

By George WhiteJanuary 15, 2002, 5:00 pm
The howls from New Zealand were so loud and so anguished that even the wallabies were roused from a deep sleep. The Kiwis had wanted Tiger Woods, they had gone out and gotten him, and now the citizens of the kingdom were outraged over the prices they had to spend to see him.
 
Tiger Woods, of course, was the last person responsible. The figure filberts at IMG try to figure out how much the particular market will bear. If theyre correct, a deal is struck. Tiger boards the jet and plays for a week. He comes back to Florida, and all concerned are satisfied.
 
Usually.
 
Thats the way it is with the sheiks of Dubai. Germans cough and then pony up. So do the Thais and Indonesians. The Chinese do it and the Argentineans and the French. Its only when the good burghers of New Zealand are involved that IMG has problems.
 
They were expecting perhaps 100,000 to show up at the New Zealand Open last week. They knew they had to have at least 70,000 to just break even, what with the approximately $2 million they had paid for the privilege of having Tiger. They were shocked when less than 40,000 showed up for five days to watch Woods squeak by the cut, then eventually finish tied for sixth. Can you say bath with a Kiwi accent?
 
Its hardly Tigers fault, which is the pity. Hes merely a tool, albeit a very wealthy one. The businessmen at IMG were trying to get the most they could for his appearance ' say, 15 percent of $2 million, approximately $300,000? The New Zealand businessmen, raising ticket prices from approximately $22 for the week to $198 a week this year, were dreaming of the huge profits they expected to make.
 
And Tiger ' well, he dutifully boarded his jet and showed up. He played at the course of his trusty caddie, Steve Williams. He went through the greeting ceremonies and rubbed noses with 40 or so local dignitaries. He ate a lot of cheeseburgers and jogged with Steve on a local road. And then he left the same way he had came.
 
In the meantime, some very big toes were stepped on. Greg Turners, for instance.
 
Turner was one of the pros who was caught up in the unusual traffic pattern to allow for Woods entourage. It probably would never have happened had not someone sent cyanide to the police shortly before Tigers arrival. The upshot was that Turner arrived for his 8:45 tee time Thursday and was suddenly, abruptly, vectored down a lane toward the back of the course, from where he had to tote his bag a long distance back to the clubhouse. He was livid.
 
It has been all about one player with no thought given for the 143 others in the field, Turner, himself a New Zealander, raged. It is more like an exhibition match than a national championship.
 
Its not the only thing, there has been a catalog of little things like that. Its like a handicap event where he started off with an advantage over the rest of the field.
 
Craig Perks, another New Zealand pro, agreed. I think all the emphasis was put on Tiger Woods and they forgot about everyone else, which is a shame, he said.
 
Other golfers, however, understood perfectly. When youve won green jackets, claret jugs, PGAs and (U.S.) Opens, you can do anything you want, said Australian Wayne Riley.
 
And New Zealands Michael Campbell, who missed a putt on the 72nd green that would have forced a playoff with eventual winner Craig Parry, knew exactly what to expect when he signed up for the tournament.
 
Ive had no problems at all, he said. The security is needed, in that this is the worlds most recognized athlete and those guys are doing a great job.
 
Campbell, incidentally, made a particularly heart-warming gesture when he donated his entire runner-up check to charity. One portion was to a group which provides accommodations for families of sick children staying in hospitals, the rest to Wellingtons junior golfers.
 
The total of the check, however, was only about $35,000 for second place. Woods made just over $15,000 for finishing in a tie for sixth. He would have won $150,000 or so for finishing tied for sixth at the PGA Tour event in Hawaii, but then there wouldnt have been the $2 million appearance fee, would there?
 
The dozen investors that put up between $100,000 and $500,000 each to bring the circus act to Wellington were sadly disillusioned. They didnt happen upon a kings ransom, unfortunately. But IMG got theirs. Tiger got his. And New Zealand came away with a black eye, thanks to the sheets of rain, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the cyanide caper, and perhaps the ticket prices themselves.
 
Dont blame Tiger himself, though, for this fiasco. Blame IMG for the bloated appearance fee. Blame the greedy businessmen of New Zealand. And if they didnt like the appearance by Woods, the other golfers should heed a very important principal the next time Tiger shows up.
 
That is, simply ' dont come.
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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.