IS SHARK TARGET OF EUROPEAN TOUR'S APPEARANCE-FEE CRACKDOWN?
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).