European Tour Golf

January 27, 2012 by staff 

European Tour Golf, Tiger Woods is making his first start of the year this week – at a European Tour event he’s never played before.  The American is looking to build his game up ahead of a challenge at The Masters in April, and believes turning out at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship with the majority of the world’s top ten is better preparation than teeing it up at Torrey Pines – where he won his last major, the 2008 US Open – for the Farmers Insurance Open.

Oh, did we mention he is also getting paid about £1.5 million just to show up in the United Arab Emirates? Not that such a sweetener influenced his thinking, though. Did it?

“I’d have to say yes, it certainly does,” Woods said on Tuesday. “That’s one of the reasons why a lot of the guys who play in Europe, they do play in Europe, and they do get paid. I think the only tour that doesn’t pay is the US Tour.”

That’s true. The PGA Tour consistently refuses to pay players to attend their events, thinking – perhaps rightfully – that they will always play in the most lucrative or prestigious 15-20 they are eligible for in order to continue earning their right to earn such healthy sums the next year. Players are not paid to turn up, but then the rewards for winning are often much higher than the European Tour equivalents (this week, the purse at Torrey Pines is twice as big).

Does that really mean anything for the biggest players, however? What is preferrable, a guaranteed seven figure payment with the option to earn a similar figure with victory – or a bigger reward for success, but the possibility of missing the cut and walking away on Friday paying the taxi driver who took you to the airport out of your own money?

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