The Ford Outing at Indian Creek - Appearance $?
Here's a good one. Ford sponsors Doral. Ford also sponsors an "outing" with Singh, Goosen, Garcia and the ever annoying Padraig Harrington (I love the Irish accent, but his is an abomiNation) at cross-town Indian Creek paying the participants a cool $150K each. Let's review the issues.
Number One - Appearance fees are strictly prohibited on the PGA tour, but are allowed elsewhere (see Dubai Classic). Our tour has always been about (and the definition of) true meritocracy. (Note: if you find a Democrat on the PGA tour, let me know!) Perform and you will be paid handsomely here. Miss the cut and you'll be slamming the trunk on your tournament provided wheels. No play - no pay. So Ford cloaks an appearance fee in the form of an outing - what, gratuity? Are you kidding me? Finchem (a loathsome toad who pitted the Anderson tournament against the Tucson Open - a long running affair that provided prize money long before Anderson did) says the outing fees should not be construed as appearance money, stating "Perception-wise, I understand the concern. We have to deal with the perception.'' He really is a pencil-necked weenie!
Number Two - Indian Creek is the club where ex-president bill clinton got into hot water a couple of years ago because of its, shall we say, "restricted" admissions policies. Would Finchem like to address that one? He won't allow a tournament to be played at a "restricted" club (see Aronomink), but furtively endorses his players teeing it up at one. What a tool!
Let's be honest here. Whatever you want to call it, Ford paid an appearance fee to these players. In their defense they had already committed to play Doral. Would I play one round of golf to finance a college education? Yeah, dude. (N.B. That will NEVER happen to me - I can barely round up a foursome where I play!)
The PGA should not allow payments to players participating in one of its tournaments within 7 days (before and after) the event. Tim, can you hear me?