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  • Alistair Tait

Golf Greed Or Glory?

Two big tournaments are being staged in America this weekend. One is for glory, the other is all about pure greed. One comes with a coveted trophy, the other doesn’t even feature a trophy, just dollar signs, millions of them.

I know which one I’ll be watching.

Catriona Matthew (above) leads 12 Europeans tomorrow at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, hoping to defend the Solheim Cup Europe won at Gleneagles two years ago in arguably the greatest match since its inauguration in 1990. There is no prize money, just the glory of representing Continental Europe against the best women golfers America has to offer.

Meanwhile, 30 multimillionaires are vying for a slice of a $60 million cake in the Tour Championship, with one lucky player making a $15 million deposit into his bank account. The poor “loser” only takes home $395,000. Wouldn’t you like to finish last and make $395,000? Just think, we’d only need to “work” one week a year.

Before I'm labelled a rampant socialist, who wouldn't want to earn $15 million? I'd certainly love to cash that pay cheque, but it's still an obscene amount of money any way you cut it

Trying to explain the Tour Championship's weight scoring format to non golfers – perhaps even long standing ones – requires Mensa membership. The guy that shoots the lowest 72-hole total isn’t even declared the winner. He doesn’t even get a trophy. What!

Xander Schauffele played better than everyone in the field last year, three shots better. The PGA Tour didn’t credit him with an official win. Dustin Johnson was the official winner even though he tied for third place. No wonder last week’s PGA Tour winner was scathing of the Tour Championship format.

“I think, frankly, it’s not a good format,” said Patrick Cantlay, who defeated Bryson DeChambeau in a six-hole playoff to win the BMW Championship. “I think it’s obvious why they went to the format because the last format was confusing. I think this format is less confusing, but I don’t think it’s a good format. I dislike the fact we no longer have a Tour Champion. I dislike the fact no-one knows, when they look at the leaderboard, who shot the lowest round (total) this week. I think the fact Xander didn’t get a tournament win for beating the field by two or three shots (last year) is criminal, not just because he’s my friend, but I think if that happened to anybody that would be criminal.”

I’m with Cantlay. Kudos to the European Tour and its DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. The player with the lowest score is the tournament winner, while the European Tour number one race is also determined that week. Even non golf fans can understand that concept.

The 17th Solheim Cup match? Even nursery students wouldn’t take long to grasp match play golf. It’s pretty simple, isn’t it? The player who takes less strokes on a hole wins it, and the match is over when a player leads by more holes than there are left to play.

Basic stuff even for those who don’t play golf.

Which tournament will you be following from across the pond this weekend? I know which one I’m tuning into. Give me golf for glory over cash any day of the week.

#JustSaying: “Victory is everything. You can spend the money, but you can never spend the memories.” Ken Venturi

Photograph courtesy of the Ladies European Tour


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