The Australian Masters may have lost its biggest drawing card after Australian PGA officials moved the 2011 event to the same weekend as Tiger Woods’ own Chevron Challenge.For the last two years, Woods has received three million dollars (AUD) simply to appear at the event. In fact, the 2009 Masters was the last time he won a tournament.
But with the President’s Cup competition coming to Australia next year, PGA officials Down Under decided to reconfigure their whole schedule and now Woods won’t be able to attend.
In order to take advantage of the large contingent of American and international superstars visiting their nation for the Cup, the Australian Open was moved to the week before and the Aussie PGA Championship to the week after, leaving The Masters out in the cold.
Further complicating matters, The Masters is owned and operated by IMG Worldwide, the same sports/talent agency that owns and operates Tiger Woods.
Since Woods can’t skip his own tournament, IMG is fighting to move it to a different date, but the Australian PGA won’t budge, suggesting that the former No. 1 is not as powerful as he once might have been.
The numerous American superstars expected to join the Open as a tune up for the Cup outweighs the drawing power of just one Tiger Woods, and the Victorian government still isn’t thrilled about shelling out half of Woods’ appearance fees at the Masters.
One tournament may have to suffer the good of the country, and Tiger Woods will have to suffer for the good of his charity. The hit to his pocketbook will only make it harder to climb back up the list of winningest athletes.
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