Jordan Spieth Assured Appearance Fee In The Vicinity Of $1M At Australian Open
Jordan Spieth's appearance fee for playing in the Australian Open in Sydney from Thursday will be "in the vicinity" of $1M, sources said, according to Andrew Both of REUTERS. But it is "all money well spent," according to Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt, who said that the British Open champion's appearance, along with that of "home favorite" Jason Day, "has made the tournament much easier to market and helped sell out the corporate hospitality boxes." Pitt added, "From my perspective, Jordan is the biggest man in world golf. ... We've basically sold out of corporate hospitality and Jordan's announcement really helped that. And pre-sales of tickets are much more advanced of last year." Not everyone is convinced that paying players "simply to turn up" is a "good idea." Australian Peter Thomson, a five-time British Open champion, is one of those who have "criticized such payments," but Pitt contends that appearance fees are "the only way to get the best players to come Down Under." Pitt: "We operate in a market where appearance fees are required to attract the best players in the world, particularly international players, and we are in the same boat as a large number of tournaments around the world" (REUTERS, 11/20).