Tiger Woods gets 3 million dollars just to show up at Australian Masters

I just read today in The Australian about Tiger Woods being paid $3M to play in this year’s Australian Masters. All he has to do is show up and he’s $3M richer. What makes it even more amazing is that the winner of the event will only take home $270,000. Does this seem right to you?

Now I know this isn’t really “new”. We’ve seen the best players paid to play many times, but it still feels wrong to me. I understand why it is, but I just wish it wasn’t. When does it become too much? Going Down Under for $3M seems over the top to me.

I recently wrote an aritcle for Inside Golf Magazine on the Duramed FUTURES Tour kicking off its season in Florida this weekend. In my research I looked at the purses these women play for and I was pretty horrified to see how the PGA and LPGA development tours differ in terms of leading money winners every year. Check it out last year’s winners in both tours:

The pay differential is astounding to me. I’ve heard all the reasons about sponsors yada yada yada, but it’s still just wrong. Golf is a game of inches and an equalizer on the course for men and women, but not when it comes to money. It still bothers me that the PGA generates about 100 millionaires every year – last year the LPGA had only 13 ladies break the $1M mark.

Now, I am a huge Tiger fan; don’t get me wrong. I’ve followed him around at the Buick and I was in awe. But when I read Tiger say, “Some of the great golf courses in the world are right down there in Melbourne, that sand belt.”….the first thing that came to my mind was, “But no matter how great they are, you’re not setting one Nike golf shoe on them unless someone coughs up 3 million big ones, right Tiger?”

Feel free to tar and feather me on this one, but I’m starting to get a bit tired of the Tiger frenzy. Even when he didn’t play for 8 months, all you ever read or heard about on TV was Tiger and his bum knee. I found it rather nauseating.

Anyway, it’s an old song and it’s been sung by many, but for me, it’s a tune that has planted itself inside my head and I just can’t stop humming it….”Ain’t that a shame…”


Woods deal a bogey: Baillieu
The Age
20 Mar 2009

SPENDING $ 1.5 million to bring golfer Tiger Woods to Melbourne has been described by the Victorian Opposition as a bad investment at a time of mounting unemployment. Woods, the world’s best golfer, is to play at the Australian Masters for $ US3…read more…

Tech Tags: The Age newspaper News

Tiger is heading Down Under

Matthew Clayfield Brent Read
The Australian
19 Mar 2009

TIGER Woods will play at the Australian Masters this year after the Victorian Government sealed a $3 million deal with the world’s best golfer that is to be partly paid by Victorian taxpayers. Victoria’s Premier John Brumby last night confirmed Woods…read more…

Tech Tags: The Australian newspaper Sport
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  1. I agree. I was wondering what golfers they would attract if they put up a $3million purse instead.

  2. Tiger regularly plays in Ireland for no money so it’s not entirely fair to blame him.

    He’ll bring $3m of commercial value so to be honest I don’t really see what the issue is. He might as well take it.

  3. Thanks John! Thanks for your comment.

    Yes, it would be hard to turn down the cash. 🙂 But this begs the question – why Ireland for free and not Australia?

  4. I would be their in to seconds if I were getting 3 MILLION dollars…

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