The effort to get Jason Gore into the Northern Trust Open began last September and the person who started the drive on Twitter was inspired by his meeting with Gore and how much Gore truly loved the Northern Trust Open. After the drive on Twitter exploded, the Northern Trust Open extended an invitation and the tournament is very pleased at all of the positive media coverage.
Sobel can see this becoming a trend where players will go on social media sites to encourage fans to tweet and even call tournament directors to get them to hand out a sponsor’s invite. At that point, the use of social media to get sponsor’s exemptions can become very negative.
Bud Cauley, who is third on Sobel’s Top 25 under 25, is in the top 5 after 18 holes of the Sony Open and it is not all that surprising considering his talent and his performance in 2011 when he played his way onto the PGA TOUR without going to Q-School or the Nationwide Tour.
Tiger Woods is returning to Pebble Beach this year for the first time in 10 years and while many may be tempted to say that Tiger is looking for reps, the fact is is that Tiger is going to play this event to placate the sponsor of his own tournament in Washington, D.C. AT&T’s sponsorship of the AT&T National ends in 2014 and Tiger is making an appearance at AT&T’s Pebble Beach tournament because he wants to make sure that his relationship with that company is strong going into the contract re-negotiations as to improve the chances that AT&T will remain the sponsor of his event.