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Golf Australia Express : Issue 12
By Damian Shutie Editor-in-Chief VIEW THE GOLF’S A FUNNY game. On one tour, we’ve got 30 people playing for more than $38 million in one event, and on another there’s two dozen others playing for nothing but pride. This week’s PGA TOUR Championship—the FedEx Cup deciding event—is the richest in golf. Any one of the 30 qualifiers has a chance at pocketing not only $1.4 million for a win at the event, but an additional $10 million as the season’s overall FedEx Cup winner. It might seem a little extravagant to think one win over 29 other blokes can net you that kind of cash. We certainly do. And you might even feel for Scotland’s Martin Laird who finished 31st in the FedEx Cup standings, missing out on the life- changing dash-for-the cash by a solitary spot. (We think he’ll be OK— earning more than $2.6 million this season should dry those tears up pretty quickly.) One thing we can learn from tour is pretty simple: money talks. It was not all that long ago the TOUR Championship was just another event, one that drew scant attention from golfers more keen to put the clubs back in the shed for another season than play the season-ending event. Add a large cash incentive, a convoluted series and a novelty size trophy and all of a sudden you’ve got the attention of a whole tour of golfers. Funnily enough, it’s the biggest money-earners for the season who end up with a chance at the top prize. In fact, the top five players on the FedEx Cup standings— any of whom will win the $10 million with a TOUR Championship victory—have amassed a combined $22.5 million in prizemoney in 2011. That’s in the US. Now switch to Ireland, where 24 of the world’s best are about to battle out a team event for not even a penny. The Solheim Cup—like the Ryder, Presidents and Lexus cups—is all about pride. To even suggest payment here is golfing blasphemy. The US women will be defending their 2009 title while the Europeans look to add a fourth to their collection. While a win won’t add to either bank accounts, it’ll be worth a lot more to players than a hefty cheque. Just listen to players speak about it. These are two very different golf events in the same week showcasing the same great sport. One of them is all about wealth, while the other— well, it’s just a priceless experience. OTG EMAIL YOUR THOUGHTS TO: email@example.com CASH GRABBERS Is $10 million for one event win really worth it?