Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rory's Price Goes Up

No secret that golf's best players receive appearance fees - openly when playing outside of the USA, under-the-table (or through some other rule-skirting arrangement) inside the USA.

And the most expensive golfer to buy for your tournament? Tiger Woods, natch. But Rory McIlroy appears to be giving Tiger a run for that money - Rory's price has gone up.

You might recall several years back when Tiger got a reported $2 million to show up at the 2009 Australian Masters (he should have asked for more - that's where Woods' relationship with a woman not his wife was noticed by a tabloid). The Victorian state government - which is to say, Australian taxpayers - even picked up part of that tab to get Woods Down Under.

Well, this year, the Australian Open thought it had bought the presence of McIlroy for $1 million. Tournament organizers believed they had a deal in place for that appearance fee - but then Rory went and won the PGA Championship, his second major.

And that's when Rory's price went up. Figuring (rightly) that he was now, with two majors, worth even more money, McIlroy said the new price is $2 million. Not good news for the Aussies, who had already been priced out by other golfers:

(McIlroy's) appearance fee was about $1 million prior to the US PGA, upon winning a second, but major McIlroy’s asking price was twice that amount.

And that put him out of reach for Australian Open promoters.

It was another slap in the face following negotiations with Ernie Els, whose bounty rose after he won this year’s British Open.

Getting the world's top golfers to compete in the Australian Open is no easy task. In the absence of McIlroy and Els, world No. 5 Justin Rose assumes the mantle as the 2012 Open’s top billing.

Hey, when you're the world No. 1 and you just doubled your count of majors, you's gots to get paid. But McIlroy only wound up pricing himself out of any appearance fee.

Not to worry - he'll make it somewhere. And all during tournament week of the Australian Open, Rory can take his mind off that missed million by focusing on the lovely flesh of the great and glorious Woz.

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