It's a World Golf Championship Event - Without Tiger
By Torleif Sorenson on 11/1/13
Among the on-course stories emerging from this week's World Golf Championship-HSBC Champions event in China are that Dustin Johnson shot 63 on Friday and Rory McIlroy led before stumbling. But the other story here involves Tiger Woods...

...because he isn't playing.

Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, told Morgan a few months ago that the event was not going to work with his schedule. And yet, Tiger was on Hainan Island last week for an 18-hole silly-season match against Rory McIlroy, but he's skipping the HSBC in order to play at the Turkish Open next week. For a big appearance fee.

And that has left Giles Morgan, the director of HSBC's sports sponsorship department, steaming:
"I do think that's something, from the tour's point of view, that does need to be looked at. I'm not here to knock Tiger at all, because I feel that he's been absolutely instrumental in the growth. But we've reached a point where it's not about individuals. It's about growing the game of golf globally.

"Attracting so many of the world's top 50 to play in China is a great achievement but we are disappointed Tiger is not here."
In one respect, Mr. Morgan has a point; Tiger has skipped only three of the World Golf Championships, one after Christmas 2001 and the other two in 2010, following his adultery scandal and meltdown of his marriage.

Furthermore, Morgan is prohibited from paying appearance fees, since this is part of the WGC lineup. Also, several golf writers have commented about how Chinese golf fans have been clamoring to see Tiger for several years. In fact, Woods helped launched the HSBC Champions event and played in 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2010.

That was the last time.

To be fair, McIlroy bypassed the event last year, but Morgan told Derek Lawrenson of the Daily Mail that the golfer quickly e-mailed him and said he would play this year. And despite a dismal 2013 season, McIlroy is at Sheshan International Golf Club this week, as promised.

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Image via World Golf Championships

[ comments ]
legitimatebeef says:
slimpks1850 says:
Whatever. For some reason or another - I haven't been watching or playing golf for a month+
mmontisano says:
he needs the money because EA just dropped him.
blackhawk says:
Just a thought. Isn't Turkey part of the global market that Morgan is talking about? Tiger played 4 times in China. Time to expose another market to this great game.
Matt F says:
Money talks and bullshit walks...guess the WGC didn't pay enough.
[ post comment ]
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