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IS SHARK TARGET OF EUROPEAN TOUR'S APPEARANCE-FEE CRACKDOWN?
Published February 15, 1996
Greg Norman claims that he is being "singled out" by the PGA European Tour's effort to enforce guidelines regarding the use of appearance fees to attract top PGA Tour stars to overseas events. In letters to the Dubai Desert Classic, Murphy's Irish Open and Canon European Masters, PGA European Tour Exec Dir Kenneth Schofield reminded tournament officials that only 25% of the total purse could be used for such side events as clinics and skins game -- namely, appearance fees. But Norman, who played in all three events last year with fees as high as $350,000, took offense: "I said to Ken, 'It seems to me you are discriminating against me.' A lot of other guys played in those events and got appearance money. I seem to be a target for everything." Despite Norman's assertion the guidelines could be seen as "restraint of trade," a spokesperson for Great White Shark Enterprises Inc. said, "Litigation is not the answer." Meanwhile, the tournaments responded by raising purses by as much as 200,000 Pounds (GOLFWORLD, 2/9 issue). HOW MANY QUID FOR THIS PRO QUO? Norman -- who once termed the atmosphere at TPC Eagle Trace "carnival golf" -- will play the Honda Classic when the tournament returns to the course this year. GOLFWORLD reports the change of heart is due to a promise from the PGA Tour to award Norman's architecture firm the contract to design the planned TPC club in Atlanta (Geoff Russell, GOLFWORLD, 2/9 issue).