Monday, April 24, 2006

Some Pros Should Get A Primer On How Capitalism Works

According to The Golf Channel, Michelle Wie has received a sponsor's exemption to play in the 84 Lumber Classic, giving the 16-year-old from Hawaii three starts on the PGA Tour this year.

This apparently has rubbed some pros the wrong way. Olin Brown had this to say, "I guess if it attracts attention to the tournament, it's good for the tournament" Still, Browne said her sixth exemption to a PGA Tour event created some resentment, especially from the first alternate, who might need that tournament to help keep his card.

"This is the big leagues, man. I think tournaments should invite players who qualified to play," said Browne, who needed sponsor's exemptions last year until breaking through with a victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship. "I don't see any high school kids playing major league baseball."

Looks like Olin needs a reality check: We live in a capitalist society, that basically means, for good or bad, that money rules. The players benefit handsomely from this system because TV stations pay big money to the PGA to air their product so they can then turn around and sell advertising space, ie - commercials, to companies wanting to get their message out to the public about their product.

Not all tournaments are created equal. For instance, The John Deer Classic struggles to get TV ratings because they don't draw a strong field. They still are contractually commited to give out the purse to the players regardless of the ratings (granted the purse is smaller than other tournaments and that contributes to the weaker field but there are other factors as well like where the tournament falls in the schedule that also contributes to the weaker field).

So, in an effort to attract some buzz and get people to watch they give their exemptions to players who can create that buzz, like Michelle Wie.

That's how the world works Olin, the rules are set up by the PGA to help maintain some order but there has to be room for the sponsors to make some money which in turn helps the players by allowing them to play for bigger and bigger purses.

If those players on the bubble like the first alternate doesn't like it he can always get out of the business and become a teaching pro or head pro at his local course.

Stop whining!

I have a friend who gave up a job making over a hundred grand a year to try to make it as a pro. He didn't make it and now is struggling to get back to where he was before and I don't hear him complaining. He just sucked it up and went on with his life.

Who do these pros think they are, crying that they should be given a spot just because they decided to try to get in on all the millions be doled out on the PGA Tour.

Those exemptions are there for a very good reason, the PGA understands the importance of them. It's a shame they don't pass that understanding on to their well compensated contractors, that would be the PGA playing members.

Hope that helps you Olin.

In the meantime, you go girl!

Golf Times


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