Where were the big guns?

Home

Sunday was a day of firsts at the World’s three biggest golf events.
At Pine Needles in Carolina, Cristie Kerr, carrying quite a bit more poundage than she did last year, made a childhood dream come true with her first victory at the US Women’s Open, the third women’s major of the year.
Over in Michigan American Brian Bateman came though in the final round with a clutch putt at 18 to win his first US PG Tour title at the Buick Open while some six or seven hours earlier on the other side of the Atlantic in Paris, Englishman Graeme Storm had snatched the French Open away from Denmark’s Soren Hansen to win his first European Tour title.
All this was great news for the winners, but with the exception of US Women’s Open which attracted the strongest field possible, it was not such good news for the organisers and sponsors at the Buick and French Opens.
Both tournaments are old, well established and prestigious, but they attracted relatively weak fields this year in yet another confirmation that the game’s high profile big guns have become sated with bulging bank accounts and are very picky about what tournaments they played in these days.
World No 3 Jim Furyk played in the Buick and contended all week and Tiger Woods, who values Buick as one of his bigger sponsors behind Nike, would clearly have done so had he not just become a father two weeks ago,
But where were the Mickelsons, Scotts, Els’s, Goosens, Sings, Garcias, Harringtons, Caseys and the like?
Resting up for the bigger stuff to come this month, perhaps, notably the Open Championship at nasty Carnoustie.
Question is how long are the sponsors going to pore money into events that are given a miss by the name players who attract the bigger headlines and instead produce winners that too often are barely known?
Cheers
Neville Leck