Over the weekend we detailed that although the gold trophy at last week’s Players Championship might not have found a new home, those vying for it were handed plenty of consolation with 50% of the $15 million pot being divvied out to those who took part for one day of action at TPC Sawgrass.
In a time where people are so uncertain about employment, finances and what the future holds, it seemed somewhat out of touch, if not vulgar for the PGA Tour to announce that each player at the cancelled Players Championship would pocket around $50,000 each for doing very little.
Well, credit where it’s due as Billy Horschel has since come out in support of a select few charities, reminding all of us golf people that not only are players and caddies affected by COVID-19 but so are the many charitable organisations that the PGA Tour supports each year.
12 months ago, The Players was said to have generated a record $9.25 million for local charities, bringing its raised tally since 1974 to more than $100 million. This is the impact that hosting a Tour event has on such cities, and equally illustrates the devastation left behind when one is taken away.
Since The Players was abandoned ahead of last Friday’s play, the Valspar Championship, WGC-Dell Match Play, Valero Texas Open and the Corales Puntacana Championship have been pulled from cities who relied on the revenue the Tour brings with it.
That’s why Horschel moved to donate $20,000 of the $52,000 he received to Feeding Northeast Florida, a charity Horschel is an Ambassador of while he also intends to put the rest towards other selfless pursuits. Now he’s hoping his fellow pros will do the same in order to preserve the many charities who are heavily dependant on the tournaments that the Tour has subsequently cancelled.
“I understand everyone is different in this situation, but that the money that they got paid this week, that they donate some way, whether it’s to the next week’s, next few weeks’ charities and organizations or to the charities around where they live, because they’re going to need it,” Horschel said.
“That’s what I’m going to do. Hopefully my fellow Tour players understand the situation and do something, as well, but I’m not going to — I’m not forcing them to do anything. Hopefully they do what they feel like is right.”
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan expects to see other Tour pros follow Horschel’s lead.
“Our focus is going to be with our players on how we use this moment in time to inspire the communities where we won’t be playing, inspire when we get back in when we’re playing, and make sure we use the strength of this organization to do good here and ultimately get back to this unbelievable platform that we have that’s going to get stronger as we go through this challenge,” he said.