Cash grab awaits marquee golfers in Turkey

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Seems golfers are among the few to escape the worldwide credit crunch. They just seem to get richer while the rest of us have to economize.

The world’s top golfers seem set to increase their earnings nine days after this year’s Ryder Cup when they tee it up in the $5.3 million Turkish Airways World Golf Finals on Turkey’s Antalya coastline.

According to a story by Jamie Corrigan in The Daily Telegraph, ISM boss Chubby Chandler is the man behind the tournament. Tiger Woods will be the top draw for Turkish fans. Expect ISM clients Lee Westwood and Charl Schwartzel to be involved too, although The Telegraph story says Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson will also play.

It’s a three-year deal and part of Turkey’s attempt to secure a future Olympic Games. The thinking being that if the country can put on big sporting events in style, then the IOC will look favorably on their Olympic bid.

The winner will receive $1.5 million, while the “loser” will only get $1 million! Those who finish seventh and eighth will collect $300,000.

Nice for some. Just proves golf continues to be recession proof.

• • •

Snails on display in Wisconsin: Just when we thought action was being taken on slow play come reports of some competitors in the U.S. Women’s Open taking nearly six hours to play Blackwolf Run in the first round. I know the course was tough and the weather hot, but that’s about two hours too long for a round of golf.

What hope is there for the game if the USGA can’t get competitors around one of its tournaments in good time? None!

• • •

Hope springs eternal: Jamie Donaldson’s win in last week’s Irish Open proves that hope springs eternal for those who work hard and persevere. The Welshman, one of the nicest guys on the European Tour, finally got into the winner’s circle at Royal Portrush. Donaldson waited 12 years for his maiden win. Let’s hope it’s not his last.

• • •

Speaking of eternal hope… What a fantastic performance by Bob Charles in the opening round of the Bad Ragaz Open on the European Senior Tour. The 1963 Open Champion bettered his age by 10 shots. He opened with a 66. What an inspiration to older golfers.

• • •

Has "Fore!" disappeared from the golf dictionary? Why can’t professional golfers do what the rest of us do and shout “Fore!” when they hit a ball offline? Some simply stand with one arm outstretched pointing to where the ball is headed.

I’ve always had trouble hearing an outstretched arm.

In the second round of the French Open, Justin Rose hit a shank approach shot on the par-5, 5th hole. Instead of warning fans, he looked down at the grass. Nice guy Justin Rose, but his shank could’ve done serious damage to someone in the gallery.

It can’t be hard for players to shout "Fore!" can it? Or are they just too embarrassed?

• • •

Lush Lytham: So much for a fast and running Royal Lytham for this year’s Open Championship. It isn’t going to happen.

Summer hasn’t really turned up in the British Isles yet. June was the wettest month in the United Kingdom since records began. July seems intent on following suit.

So expect Royal Lytham to play wet and soft. That could mean similar low scoring as the Irish Open at Royal Portrush, which was also wet and soft.

• • •

The last thing golf needed: Spare a thought for golf clubs and club pros throughout the British Isles in this weather. Rain is the last thing golf needs in this economy. Many clubs are already struggling with a downturn in play, and it just got worse in June. We need a good end to the summer or it’s going to be a long hard winter for many.

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