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Teeing off

The continuing spat between Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods, elevated by  the former’s unfortunate ‘fried chicken’ remark, has obscured, unfortunately, the fact that this is a very important week for the European Golf Tour, with its flagship event, the PGA Championship, being played at Wentworth. Remarkably, it is the only tour event being played this year in England, and one of  very few of any stature that to be staged anywhere in Europe.

The very name ‘Race to Dubai’, under which the European Tour now trades, is a signal that it is no longer what it claims to be. I am assured by those in the know that the sponsors in Britain, Germany, France and Spain just ain’t there any more, but that sits oddly against the fact that the US PGA Tour, in the face of its own national economic slump, is able to offer weekly prize funds in excess of $6m. In any other industry, the executives presiding over such a decline would have been replaced by now, but there is no sign of that happening in European golf. Instead, they are sitting on their hands while the top players defect to America, taking advantage of lax qualification requirements to maintain dual Tour status. The fact is that the majority of last year’s victorious European Ryder Cup team now live and play most of their golf in the US, while in Europe, complacency rules and fans of the game across the continent have little or nothing to go and watch.

 (By the way, if Sergio’s wisecrack wasn’t racist, what the hell was it?)

Categories: General, Sport
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