Texas Open is deserving of better support
There's an old saying - "It''s as big as Texas". But is seems that's not big enough for some of the PGA Tour's star players. Here's a $6.2m tournament taking place this week in San Antonio carrying a whopping first prize of $1.116m but poorly boasting just three players – Matt Kuchar, K J Choi and Freddie Jacobsson – ranked among the world’s top-50.
While the thought of getting your hands on a $1m plus first prize cheque, and a two-year Tour exemption, would delight the rank-and-file on the PGA Tour it’s done little to stir the imagination of the world’s best golfers.
The tournament has been running since 1970 and boasts a who’s who of winners including Texas’ own Ben Crenshaw (1973 & 1986), Don January (1975), Hale Irwin (1977), Lee Trevino (1980), Bill Rogers (1981), Corey Pavin (1988), Mark O’Meara (1990), Hal Sutton (1998), Justin Leonard (2000, 2001 & 2007), Zach Johnson (2008 & 2009) and Adam Scott (2010).
It’s a great week on the PGA Tour for players such as Scotland rookie Russell Knox to make a decent pay cheque that could go a long way in securing their card for 2012.
But where are the superstars of the PGA Tour?
The current No. 15 world ranked Kuchar headed the field into the first round while the next best is Korean K J Choi at 41 while Jacobsson is presently lying 47 th on the rankings.
Surely, a super home grown sponsor at Valero backing a tournament to the tune of $US 6.2m could at least expect one player inside the top-10 on the World Rankings.
It begs the question what is the PGA Tour doing to ‘attract’ their best players to compete in events such as this week in Texas?
It would seem a whopping $1.116m first prize cheque is chicken feed to those in the upper echelon on the PGA Tour.
Both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have contested the event just once in their careers.
Woods teed-up in the 1996, and just a month after turning pro and no doubt when he was looking for tournaments to play. He finished third that year taking home $81,600 but has given nothing back since.
Mickelson ended in a share of 47 th way back in 1992 but has not been seen in San Antonio since.
But then Florida’s Matt Every is not complaining!
A week after turning 29 years Every went out to shoot a new course record of a nine under par 63. He leads by three over Hunter Haas and four over Ben Curtis.Written by Bernie McGuire
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