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Appearance Fees At PGA Tour Events For Top Players A "Dirty Little Secret"
Published July 12, 2012
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SLIPPERY SLOPE: The Washington Post’s John Feinstein said the use of appearance fees is “a slippery slope” for the PGA Tour. Feinstein: “It is very difficult for the Tour because the sponsors want the best possible fields they can get and you understand that sentiment. But if you start giving guys what are clearly appearance fees, whether in writing or not, we're talking about the spirit of the rule versus the letter of the rule. They didn't violate the letter of the rule according to the Tour because there was nothing in writing. The spirit of the rule may have very well been broken.” He added, “If everybody in that locker room believes that” Woods and Mickelson were paid, that "creates an issue.” Golfer Paul Goydos said, “The problem I have with appearance fees is that you end up with what we have in Europe, which is about (7-10) super events, where all the top players go. They all get paid big money to be there and then you have 30 events that have no field, basically. On our Tour everything is more spread out” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 7/10). In Orlando, Jeff Shain writes under the header, “Appearance Fees? Depends On The Way You Frame It.” Player appearance fees are “all part of the arms race among tournaments to land the biggest names possible.” With majors, World Golf Championships and FedExCup events “taking up as many as a dozen spots on a top player's docket, it doesn't leave much room for regular stops” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 7/12).