The Money Or The Competition


Vijay Singh is the No. 2 man in the World Golf Ranking. This week he is without a doubt the No. 1 card in a deck full of stars at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
Singh hasnt been to The Gulf since 1993.
Is he getting an appearance fee? One figures he is. And so too ' youd figure ' is John Daly and youd bet that Chris DiMarco is getting a little something for the effort as well. Probably a lot.
In fact, three of the Worlds Top 10 ranked players are competing this week and Id like to say that (for my money) Im not bothered if they are getting the extra cash.
The bottom line is the competition. And Vijay Singh shows up to win.
With the caliber of players entered, it looks like itll be a tough tournament ' but thats how I like them, Singh said.
For Vijays money, my hunch is that hed like Tiger to be there and Phil too.
So whats up with the appearance money? Lets realize that Abu Dhabi is no different than any other tournament unless they get the big draw. The Dubai Desert Classic has been throwing money around for years and getting the big field so why not a form of imitation?
Actually, lets give Singh credit (not credit card) for showing his face. Hes just played two weeks in Hawaii and finds himself in contention. That aside, his very presence gives the event a boost in its first year.
The same goes for Daly and DiMarco who give up PGA Tour events in a Ryder Cup year to support a European Tour event. For DiMarco, its his first event on the European Tour thats not a major championship or a WGC tournament.
Its easy to criticize players taking the money and only showing up because of it. And sure, there have been instances where players whove never given thought to show up would do so just for the check that comes before the tournament.
But this event shows promise and these guys are paid to deliver an events future.
Do you agree?
Five things Im thinking as the Tour seasons kick off:
1. Jim Furyk or David Toms could be the player challenging Tiger Woods for the money title. Am I way off?
2. Watch Davis Love III early this season. The likeable major winner is in a drought ' winless since his four-win season of 2003. He cant be done, can he?
3. Phil Mickelson might not win this weeks Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, but if his open to 2006 matches his open to 2005, the wins will come soon and often. Last year, he won three times before the Masters.
4. Paula Creamer has clearly set her goals on knocking Annika from the top spot in womens golf. Im already looking forward to the Kraft Nabisco for a major tussle.
5. Bubba Watson Top-10 at the Sony and averaged 336 off the tee. Is he different than long-hitting Hank Kuehne who hasnt yet won?
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Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann