By Larry Canning
By Monday the Fed Ex Cup will be over and someone who needs money in the bank about as much as I need long irons in my bag will be bathing in a tub full of US Dollars … 10 million of the little green bludgers in fact.
Oh, and throw in the bucks he won along the way. You know what? This kind of cash means that much to competitors in this event like Rory McIlroy that they don’t even play in the first playoff event.
Rory works on the theory he will play well enough in the next three to capture the 10 million 1st prize cheque, which his agent is hanging on, or maybe it’s a case of – “Bugger it, I’ve got a couple of hundred of those being direct debited into my account each year courtesy of whoever my current group of sponsors are”. Mcil-millionaire isn’t the only bloke in the field who, if he doesn’t win, won’t wake up Monday morning wondering what time Centrelink opens.
Just look at the career money winnings of the last 30 blokes who made the final event, the Tour Championship. Then whack that much on again as a conservative estimate for earnings off the course and it’s as clear as my last shank the lads aren’t exactly on the bare bones of their ass.
At the time of writing there was still another week and a bit left of the Playoffs – so I believe… I haven’t really paid much attention to be honest. I don’t know about you but I struggle watching filthy rich people becoming filthy richer.
Instead I prefer to watch someone needing to hit a great shot when a bad one could equally change his career in the wrong direction. I hate corny clichés but I’m going to use one anyway. Lee Trevino, who famously came from humble beginnings, was once asked how he dealt with the pressure of playing for millions of dollars each week – “Pressure is when you’re playing for $10 a hole when you only have $5 in your pocket”.
Actually here’s a couple of other rippers from the 6 time Major winner and part time sexist:
“My divorce came to me as a complete surprise. That’s what happens when you haven’t been home in eighteen years.”
“You can make a lot of money in this game. Just ask my ex-wives. Both of them are so rich that neither of their husbands work.”
Anyway, I’ve been engrossed in the far more “real” sporting pressure in its rawest form, that is the Web.com Tour finals. Again, when I wrote this we were only half way through the 4 tournament Series but already we’ve seen our current Australian Open Champ Cameron Davis do enough in the first event to earn his PGA Tour Card for 2019. By the way, has anyone watched Cam’s left hand/right hand exhibition of ball striking on YouTube? The tall New South Welshman smooths a mid iron down a driving range then turns around, picks up a left handed iron and with what looks like a mirror image golf swing, flushes that as well! [Video reproduced below] Cam is clearly ready to show his right handed stuff on the PGA Tour.
Another home-made Aussie Open Champ, Matty Jones, also had a terrific first finish and he too is guaranteed a job on the Big Tee next year. This makes perfect sense to me as Matt is easily one of the best strikers on the tour and has a putting stroke I would give my left one to have.
I’ve been keeping an eye on the European Tour money list as well. I covered the re-ignited NSW Open last year at Twin Creeks and watched what I reckon were three players in the final group on Sunday who are soon going to make some serious noise on the major Tours around the world.
Jason Scrivener won that event and despite some issues this year is in good shape to retain his European Card for 2019. His playing partners that day were Queensland’s Danny Nisbet and Lucas Herbert from Victoria.
The aggressive Nisbet went on to win the 1.15 million dollar ISPS Handa New Zealand Open in March with a ludicrous score of 27 under and backed that up with victory in the Northern Territory PGA in August. This guy is one bloke who if he doesn’t win, will go down punching. By virtue of that victory he effectively earned a 3 year exemption on the lucrative Asian Tour.
Lucas Herbert is just a flat out a crazy talent! He looks like he’s locked down his European Tour card for 2019. Be warned Europe … Lucas is going to do some damage.
Maybe, in my romantic, idealistic, naive world, Fed Ex would spend their money on the game and not the rich. I’m about as in touch with the big business dealings as I am with the last year’s World Curling Championships but can there be some kind of return for their money in the game itself and not the privileged?
There are too many immensely talented players barley making a living and a bunch of golf playing countries who don’t have the resources to further their prodigies’ careers.
C’mon America, you already have three of the four Majors … and please Fed Ex, spread it around.