Report: Tax-exempt status of tournaments under scrutiny

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2013, 1:36 am

An ESPN report has analyzed the PGA Tour’s tax exemption status, which along with the NFL and NHL’s nonprofit status is being challenged by a bill pending in the U.S. Senate.

According to the report, which aired on the network’s “Outside the Lines” show, the Tour’s U.S.-based tournaments in 2011 (the most recent year available) gave an average of 16 percent of their income to charity, compared to the industry norm of 65 percent.

“The lion’s share of the money is going to big prizes, cash prizes for athletes and all the promotion around it, so it's really pathetic, actually,” Charity Navigator president Ken Berger told ESPN. “Every single taxpayer in this country ultimately is bearing the burden of having to pay the taxes for this wildly inefficient organization that’s giving so little to charity.”

But Tour officials claim the circuit’s charitable contributions far exceed any tax breaks it gains from its nonprofit status, which are estimated to be up to $200 million over the past 10 to 20 years. The Tour donated $130 million to charity in 2012, bringing its overall total to $1.9 billion.

“It’s as if no good deed goes left unpunished,” Ty Votaw, the Tour’s executive vice president of communication and international affairs, wrote in an e-mail. “This isn’t a bake sale where there is no overhead and everything is contributed. A tournament is a major undertaking that requires significant planning, setup and operation, all of which requires significant expense beyond the time contributed by volunteers.”

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has introduced a bill in the Senate that would strip the Tour, NFL and NHL of their nonprofit, tax-exempt status, but the report focuses more on the exempt status of each tournament.

In an analysis of the FedEx St. Jude Classic, the tournament’s income in 2011 was $15.3 million. The event spent $6 million in prize money, $5 million in TV promotion, $1 million on tournament production and $500,000 on food and beverages. Only $1.5 million, or 10 percent of tournament expenses, was given to St. Jude.

“People are surprised, ‘You mean there's a place in the tax code for the PGA or the NFL to hide and not pay money?’ And the fact is, is yes,” Coburn said.

In a breakdown of each event, the worst performance came from the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Over two years, the hospital’s charity actually lost $4.5 million running the tournament, according to an annual financial report.

But, like most charities interviewed for the story, officials with Shriners Hospitals said the event provides valuable media exposure, and Votaw contends that losing the tax-exempt status would have a “chilling effect on the PGA Tour’s ability to continue to contribute millions of dollars to charity.”

Coburn’s bill would not impact the exempt status of individual tournaments.

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What's in the Bag: Tour Championship winner Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 24, 2018, 12:48 pm

Tiger Woods won his 80th career title on Sunday at the Tour Championship. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: TaylorMade M3 (9.5 degrees)

Fairway Woods: TaylorMade M3 (13 degrees), M1 2017 (19 degrees)

Irons: TaylorMade TW Phase 1 prototype (3-PW)

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (56, 60 degrees)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS

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McCarthy tops Bae in Web.com Tour Finals 25

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 24, 2018, 11:51 am

The Web.com Tour handed out 25 PGA Tour cards for the 2018-19 season based on how players fared in the Finals series. Here are the final standings after Sunday's Web.com Tour Championship.

1. Denny McCarthy: $255,793

2. Sangmoon Bae: $218,156

3. Robert Streb: $187,460

4. Peter Malnati: $157,296

5. Cameron Davis: $126,675

6. Adam Schenk: $125,798

7. Lucas Glover: $125,212

8. Matt Jones: $112,000

9. Hunter Mahan: $107,505

10. Roger Sloan: $84,307

11. Shawn Stefani: $80,579

12. Seth Reeves: $80,360

13. Max Homa: $78,200

14. Roberto Diaz: $70,326

15. Stephan Jaeger: $69,923

16. Curtis Luck: $64,920

17. Nicholas Lindheim: $59,169

18. Dylan Frittelli: $48,600

19. Wes Roach: $48,100

20. Sepp Straka: $47,844

21. Cameron Tringale: $47,760

22. Ben Silverman: $47,700

23. Michael Thompson: $45,466

24. Fabian Gomez: $43,657

25. Jim Knous: $41,931

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DJ moves back to No. 1; Woods to 13th in OWGR

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 24, 2018, 11:05 am

Justin Rose did just enough to claim the FedExCup title Sunday at the Tour Championship, but Dustin Johnson's late surge was enough to vault him back into the top spot in the World Ranking.

Johnson shot a final-round 67 to finish in third place, while Rose stumbled with a 3-over 73 for a share of fourth. DJ lipped out a birdie putt on 18 that would have given him a shot at the FedExCup crown, and that allowed Rose to clinch the $10 million prize with a two-putt birdie.

Tiger Woods continued his incredible surge up the World Ranking with his 80th career win at the Tour Championship. Woods moved up from 21st to 13th after a two-shot victory over Billy Horschel. It marked Woods' seventh top-10 finish of the year.

Horschel made the other big move of the week jumping up from 48th to 35th with his second place finish. Outside of a WD in Boston, the 2014 FedExCup champion had another great run in the playoffs finishing T-3 at the Northern Trust, T-3 at the BMW and second at East Lake.

Here's the top 10 after the PGA Tour season finale.

1. Dustin Johnson

2. Justin Rose

3. Brooks Koepka

4. Justin Thomas

5. Francesco Molinari

6. Rory McIlroy

7. Bryson DeChambeau

8. Jon Rahm

9. Rickie Fowler

10. Jordan Spieth

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McCarthy wins Web.com Tour Championship by 4

By Associated PressSeptember 24, 2018, 2:14 am

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Denny McCarthy won the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship on Sunday to earn fully exempt PGA Tour status and a spot in the Players Championship.

McCarthy closed with a 6-under 65 for a four-stroke victory over Lucas Glover at Atlantic Beach Country Club. The 25-year-old former Virginia player earned $180,000 to top the 25 PGA Tour card-earners with $255,793 in the four-event Web.com Tour Finals.

''It's been quite a journey this year,'' McCarthy said. ''The PGA Tour was tough to start out the year. I stuck through it and got my game. I raised my level and have been playing some really good golf. Just feels incredible to finish off these Finals. So much work behind the scenes that nobody really sees.''

McCarthy finished at 23-under 261.


Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship


Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, closed with a 69. He made $108,000 to finish seventh with $125,212 in the series for the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200.

Jim Knous earned the 25th and final card from the four-event money list with $41,931, edging Justin Lower by $500. Knous made a 5-foot par save on the final hole for a 71 that left him tied for 57th. Lower missed an 8-footer for birdie, settling for a 69 and a tie for 21st.

''It was a brutal day emotionally,'' Knous said. ''I wasn't quite sure how much my performance would affect the overall outcome. It kind of just depended on what everybody else did. That's pretty terrifying. So I really just kind of did my best to stay calm and inside I was really freaking out and just super psyched that at the end of the day finished right there on No. 25.''

The top-25 finishers on the Web.com regular-season money list competed against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. Sungjae Im topped the list to earn the No. 1 priority spot of the 50 total cards.