Imagine how the new tournament director of the Farmers Insurance Open felt when he got up the other morning to hear on the news that Tiger Woods would be skipping the 2012 event at Torrey Pines to play in the Eurpopean Tour’s event at Abu Dhabi. Tiger has played in this event as his annual launch to the golf season for years. He has won at Torrey six times in PGA events and once in the U.S. Open. He used to play with his Dad at Torrey and even won a Junior World event there.
Apparently Tiger is not nostalgic about such things and has opted out this year for a good reason, easy money. You see Tiger just shows up in the United Arab Emirates for this event and gets an appearance fee with six zeros on the end wired to his personal account. Please understand this man has lots of overhead to cover, especially since he has lost so many of his corporate patrons after that unfortunate incident with the fire hydrant outside his home in Florida. His boat alone cost him more than $20 million and I don’t think his ex is throwing in on the payments of that baby as part of their settlement.
Professional golfers are private contractors, they are free to chase their dreams wherever it is most lucrative for them, so you cannot really criticize Tiger’s logic in this decision. But announcing it on his website and not communicating with the tournament director through a call or a letter just shows that Tiger and his advisers have no sense graciousness or class when it comes to dealing with the hands that feed them.
The timing of this announcement is pretty mindless as well. Tiger is playing on the international stage in a team event in Australia and he detracts from the opening day of this event with this announcement of his personal golf schedule three months from now. What was the rush? Do the Arab Sheiks need to firm up there appointment books in late January for the pro-am?
The tournaments that have been contested at Torrey Pines have provided Tiger with a stage from which to project his success and gain access to the returns that come with that. The people of San Diego who so generously supported his successes there deserve better consideration and treatment in the handling of this announcement. Once again Tiger proves that he has no aptitude for managing his career and image. It is all about the fame and the money and has nothing to do with being personable to those who support him.