Homelessness, starvation, drought and Ryanair – given the laundry list of troubles that some turn to God to air, and others Joe Duffy, isn’t it great that we don’t have to worry about the poor golfers when trying to unlock the door to our dreams?
I had one of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in some time last night thanks to Keith Pelley, the “cool uncle” of the European Tour. KP must’ve known that I’d endured some sleepless nights of late too, spent lying on my back picturing poor old Henrik Stenson struggling to pay off his second Bugatti or worse still, Eddie Pepperell having to downgrade to a Tesco’s finest drop of red.
KP though, there’s a man who screams empathy from his loud suits. Rumour has it he has to trawl through a river of flamboyant glasses’ frames and pocket handkerchiefs just to get to his front door. Even Marie Kondo gave up trying to declutter Pelley’s presses. But Keith didn’t give up on us, no Sir.
Instead, he announced that the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in the famished slums of Dubai, set to be played at the dilapidating Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 21-24, 2019, will now see the winner pocket a cheque for US$3 million, up significantly from the US$1.33 million won by Danny Willett last November.
And just as well too. It was hoped that Willett’s win last year would help the Englishman get back on his feet but just four months later and reports suggest that he’s already been seen back out on the street drinking Buckfast under bridges in a raggedy old green jacket.
But don’t worry Danny, at least not like I did, for Keith’s got our back. But not just KP, Danny, but PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan too.
Now I don’t know if you’re one for classic novels but Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men might be worth a read if you haven’t already. If Europe’s not your thing, you can pursue the American Dream as set out by Jay Monahan, filled with ketchup and rabbits and news that the 2020 Genesis Open is being added to a lengthy list of tournaments to fill your boots at on the PGA Tour schedule.
The only thing is the announcement states that the Genesis Open will move to invitational qualifying status and reduce its field from 144 players to 120, so make sure you’re playing well. But earn that golden ticket Danny and not only could you kiss those bridges goodbye. You could find your name nailed to a plaque on one.
Now if the idea of receiving a three-year PGA Tour exemption for winning, an increase by one year over the standard winner’s exemption, doesn’t tickle your fancy, maybe the purse bulging to $9.3 million, among the largest on TOUR with an increase of $1.9 million over the 2019 purse will? The winner’s share will be $1.674 million. Isn’t that great news? And to think just yesterday you were wondering where your next bottle of ‘B’ would come from – Jay’s got you covered DW.
Although he’s not taking the credit.
Apparently, it’s all thanks to Tiger, or in honour of the great man at least. You see, Tiger’s been hosting the tournament for some time now and to recognise his 14 Majors and to help with his alimony, the Tour has elevated the status of the Genesis Open alongside the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide and the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament began awarding a three-year exemption and elevated purse in 2016 and Palmer’s tournament did so the following year.
“In recognition of Tiger’s place alongside Jack and Arnold as a modern-day golf icon who hosts a home-based PGA TOUR tournament, plus the common thread of doing exceptional philanthropic work through his TGR Foundation, elevating the Genesis Open is an important and deserved step toward further cementing Tiger’s legacy in our sport,” Monahan said.
TGR Live became the tournament host organization with TGR Foundation the primary beneficiary in 2017, the same year Genesis took over as title sponsor.
“I’m honoured and grateful that the Genesis Open will receive elevated status and join Arnold’s and Jack’s tournaments,” Woods said. “To be included with two of the greatest golfers of all-time, in my hometown and at an event that benefits my TGR Foundation is something I could never have imagined when I first visited Riviera with my Pop. I would like to personally thank Genesis, the PGA TOUR and all those that made this dream happen.”
You see Danny, in the words of Gabrielle, ‘dreams can come true’ and that ever-green money tree will keep giving to you. You’ve only got to play well. You’ve only got to be strong.