Monday, August 2, 2010
Hooray, Hooray, the CEO Will Not Play!
Last week, Ray Halbritter made news when the CEO of Nation Enterprises decided that he would be playing in the Turning Stone Resort Championship this week. It was a story because he wasn't a professional golfer (not even close) but had inserted himself in the field because of a sponsors exemption that his own company gave out.
I went on a rant about it, mostly because we see stuff like this a lot, and it takes spots away from actual professional golfers that are out trying to make a living playing the game (Some of the comments are actually pretty entertaining -- my favorite, "And, dude, the way you play, you may have been hogging a spot or two yourself in your "tried to do this as a living" stint," making me wonder if A.) a friend of mine is mad at me but wanted to stay anonymous and B.) if the person that wrote that understands that in mini tour golf, you pay your own way into each event, so "hogging a spot" is impossible because you are paying the purses and C.) "Hogging a spot or TWO" ... have I gained weight? Do I necessitate two spots?)
Well, it turns out Halbritter is a good dude, and realized that by doing this, he was making an issue that was taking away from the elite event. He has pulled out of the event, saying the following:
"My goal was to celebrate, not detract from, our wonderful tournament, its players and fans. The focus this week should be on the great game of golf and enjoying the exciting competition on the course. I do not want my participation to distract from our Championship and the talented professionals who have chosen to compete here. So, I have decided to withdraw from my place in the field and to award it to another golfer to play this week."
We all want to be pro athletes, and Halbritter had a chance to "be a pro" for a couple of days, but it is time most of us (including me, at times) realize that it is really, really hard to do this, and just sneaking your way into an event because you have the ability and are in a position to do so isn't the right call.
Who will replace Halbritter in the field? Kirk Triplett, and before you go on a rant about how Triplett is a winner on tour and is worth millions and doesn't need the money, understand that he is 179th on the money list, and could use a good showing to jump up nearer to the 125th mark he needs to be under to get full status for next season. So, yes, it is actually about his job.