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  • Alistair Tait

Money Doesn’t Always Matter

Sometimes money just doesn’t matter. That’s certainly been the case over the last two days. The Tour Championship or the Solheim Cup?

Put it this way: who won the Tour Championship?

Who really cares? But the score in the 17th Solheim Cup is 9-7 in Europe’s advantage. As fellow golf writer Robert Lusetich tweeted, this, every, Solheim Cup is required viewing for true golf fans. The Tour Championship? No offence to Patrick Cantlay who became $15 million richer – I was only kidding in my second sentence – but a choice between watching golfers play for pride versus 30 multimillionaires gobbling up more pounds, shillings and pence than most people will see in an entire lifetime and it’s no contest.

If you could bottle the energy and enthusiasm the 24 players have showed over the first wo days of the Solheim Cup, it would probably power thousands of electric cars. Just look at the photo above of Leona Maguire above. She looks like she’s just holed a putt for $15 million, when she won’t make a penny from her debut Solheim Cup appearance.

I doubt any player in the Tour Championship showed the same emotion as Maguire or Danielle Kang or any of the other 22 players at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. You just can’t beat a Solheim or Ryder Cup for intensity, for drama, for excitement, even if you throw $60 million at an event like the Tour Championship.

I’m reminded of Rory McIlroy’s comments pre his first Ryder Cup match, when he referred to the biennial contest as an “exhibition.” All it took was one match for McIlroy to change his tune. The former world number one can command huge fees just to turn at many tournaments around the world; he gets nothing for paying in the Ryder Cup and wouldn’t miss one.

As for compatriot Maguire, she’s been a revelation in this Solheim Cup. A rookie? You have to be kidding me! She looks like she’s been playing in the match for years. She’s won three and a half points out of four over the first two days. Oh, how Europe is so lucky she’ll have many more Solheims to play in.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan would no doubt point out that every putt in the tour championship matters. They do. In fact, there is probably some geek out there who has worked out the dollars and cents value of every stroke Cantlay made over the four days to reap his $15 million bounty. There is no monetary value to any stroke played in the Solheim Cup, but they’re worth their weight in gold to each team. That half point Maguire and playing partner Mel Reid made in the fourballs against Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas when Reid birdied the final hole is priceless. It could mean the difference between Europe winning or losing the Solheim Cup.

I’m with fellow Association of Golf Writers colleague Greg Allen when he tweeted:

I didn’t see any action from the egg and spoon race, but I was glued to the Solheim Cup. I will be again today. It is riveting.

Money doesn’t always matter in this royal & ancient game.

#JustSaying: “I never wanted to be a millionaire: I just wanted to live like one.” Walter Hagen

Photograph courtesy of the Ladies European Tour

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