AUSTRALIA CAN’T AFFORD TIGER

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Australian golf promoters are not expecting to see Tiger Woods playing in any tournaments ‘Down Under’ any time soon – despite the World No 1’s admiration for Australian Courses.

Australian golf promoters are not expecting to see Tiger Woods playing in any tournaments ‘Down Under’ any time soon – despite the World No 1’s admiration for Australian Courses.
Woods made no secret of his love for the famous sand belt courses in south-east Melbourne when he was asked at The Masters earlier this year what type of layout he would like to design and build when the time came for him to get into this aspect of golf.
“I think that’s how the game should be played,” he said in referring to the Melbourne courses.
He has also indicated that the new US PGA Tour schedule would give him more time for travel in the later part of next year and that this might just make a visit to Australia a possibility
The promoters are not nearly as hopeful of this happening, however, as some of the media.
Eight years have passed since his last appearance on an Australian course, this in the 1998 President’s Cup at Royal Melbourne, and golf tournament organisers fear that he might not be seen again until the 2011 Presidents Cup – if Australia bids and wins the right to stage it.
At $5million a pop he is simply too expensive.
Australasia can’t afford him – as new Zealand quickly found out a few years back when they paid him $4 million in appearance fees.
The hope was that huge crowds would show up to see him, but it rained on every day of the event and the pro motors were reported to have lost $2 million.
Woods is reported to have been lured by big bucks to booming China for the inaugural HSBC Champions tournament and to oil-rich Dubai for the Desert Classic during the past year and he will be going back to China again in the course of the next month for the 2nd Champions Tournament.
He also played for the first time in ages in the HSBC World Match Play Championship in England, but Australian pro motors don’t see anyone sponsors in their country having the financial clout and will to risk the huge outlay to get him to play in their tournaments.
“You’re talking very substantial money and we don’t have oil wells we can dig up and pump barrels to pay his fee,” veteran promoter Bob Tuohy, who runs the Jacob’s Creek Open and the Ladies Masters, told The Australian this week.
“There’s no way in the world you could redeem the investment required to get Woods to Australia. You’d get a few extra digits on the television figures, which has got a value, you’d certainly get more people on the golf course, but at the end of the day, you’re at the mercy of some sort of patron or money from heaven to make the thing happen.”
Tony Roosenburg, promoter of the now defunct Heineken Classic, agreed.
“Unfortunately, where our beautiful island is floating – and look, you wouldn’t live anywhere else – but geographically, we’re in the wrong position to make it work, and it’s not going to work.”
Paul McNamee, who has been hired by Golf Australia to run the Australian Open, says his tournament needs to build for a few years before it can think about Woods.
“We’ve got to accept we’re not in a position to prudently have an event with him now,” he said.
“We’re starting a new direction and let’s see where it takes us. It’s not Tiger-free, no. I don’t measure success by one time having Tiger Woods, losing money and we can’t have him back. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
“Hopefully, one day he wants to come and sightsee on the Gold Coast or something,” Roosenburg said. “That’s about the only way we’ll get him.

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