Wednesday, January 7, 2009
What Is More Fun Than Losing $100 Million?
It seems the new trend in golf is to be a teenager who enjoys making what appears to be the wrong decision.
Michelle Wie was the benchmark and now U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee has decided to follow suit, admitting that by not turning pro back in April, he has cost himself nearly $100 million in sponsorship money.
Here's the deal. Lee won the U.S. Am this summer and was the hottest non-professional in the game. He had the opportunity to turn pro and play some PGA Tour events but decided against it to play for New Zealand in something called the Eisenhower Trophy, a World Team Championships event.
The four day event ended horribly for Lee, who never really got in a rhythm but really struggled in the final round, landing a ton of backlash from his critics over in the Kiwi Kaptial.
New Zealand Golf board member and broadcaster Peter Williams called Lee's last round performance, he was accused of not trying, a disgrace and it's understood the team's internal report from the event was also scathing.
It was a turbulent time for Lee and the first time he'd encountered any public backlash, making for "a couple of bad days".
Yeah, dogging the guy makes a lot of sense. I mean, turning down $100 mil to play for your country and then not playing your best seems about right. I mean, everyone knows that if you want to play good in golf you will. Like, if you, fine reader, decided you wanted to shoot a 68 today, you would. That is basically all golf is. Just think about what you want to shoot and it happens.
The saddest part of the story is Lee doesn't think he will get anywhere close to the original sponsorship money due to a declining economy. Sure, he isn't going to be panhandling for quarters outside the Masters this year, but it sucks that the kid was going to lose money because he was loyal.
Lee, you earned my respect. I'll root for you, even if you wear visors.