Tuesday, March 15, 2011

LPGA Makes Most Obvious Observations About the PGA Tour Ever

I'm fairly certain a LPGA player could say the words "Tiger Woods enjoys the occasional blonde," and it wouldn't have been as obvious as the point Catriona Matthew made in an interview with The Scotsman.

Matthew was talking about about the PGA Tour members, and said, quite emphatically, that one of the big flaws with the PGA Tour is that the men make too much money. Ya don't say!

"I don't want to appear bitter -- I can't say I've got anything to complain about lifestyle-wise -- but the men make ridiculous amounts of money, too much money really, to the point where they almost put people off watching them. I saw Bubba Watson lose in the match play a couple of weeks ago and he was laughing. He just didn't seem to care. I guess when you make as much as they do, you lose some of the incentive to win."

News flash - it ain't just the golfers. One of the big NFL stories from the 2010 season was a quarterback for the Cardinals smiling as the team was getting demolished, so that whole thing on Bubba can be tossed right out. Also news flash - Bubba Watson smiles all the time! The guy probably smiles when he's at the dentist!

Now, to ease up on Catriona for a minute; everyone besides the men on the PGA Tour probably agree that they make too much money. It does take away from the sport of the game a little, because if you finish first or third or 11th, you are making more money than most humans will ever see in five years of work. Luke Donald commented after his Accenture win that money stopped before a factor after his second year on tour, because at that point he realized he had enough in the bank for two lifetimes, and the focus was back to winning.

I actually think the only thing wrong with the money is the ability for us as fans to care about where these guys finish. Do we want to see youngsters like Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy break through at majors? Yes, of course, it makes the game more interesting. Do we care how many top-10s they have, or who is going to win the FedEx Cup? No, we really don't. The world is a poor place, so hearing about money superstars are making just depresses a lot of people. For that, I agree with Catriona.


seak said...

Athletes in this country make to much money, as do entertainers and CEO's. The disparity between the top earners in the US and everyone else is insane.

Mark said...
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Mark said...

I think the money argument is a more complex one where golf is concerned. These are individuals who are dependent on themselves for income. They don't sign a multi-year contract, play badly, and still get paid. They also don't get paid (winnings at least) if they are injured.

And it's not as if a significant amount of money is coming out of the public's pocket. Sure, I can sympathize with a football fan complaining about a QB's salary if he's just paid $200 for his seat. But most of the prize money is coming from sponsors.

Could we pay the pros less? Maybe, but we then run the risk of the top guys forming their own elite tour (as suggested once by Greg Norman).

Plus golfers have to pay all their own expenses.

Look I'm not saying they need to earn as much as they do, but no one is suffering as a result of it. If you had to choose a sport where the participants deserve to earn mega bucks, surely golf would be up there.