“My intention in qualifying to be eligible to play in our Turning Stone Resort Championship was to participate in a competitive opportunity which any golfer would enjoy."
The PGA Tour VP of Whispering In Tim's Ear That This Is A Really Bad Idea must have gotten his message across as Turning Stone CEO Ray Halbritter issued a statement today through the tour announcing that he was not going to take up a spot in his own event. Naturally, the statement is a train wreck we must savor!
STATEMENT from Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation Representative and CEO of Nation Enterprises
“My intention in qualifying to be eligible to play in our Turning Stone Resort Championship was to participate in a competitive opportunity which any golfer would enjoy.
Qualifying to be eligible? The only qualifying he did was to green light the writing of a huge check!
In addition, given the responsibilities of my position as I mentioned in some interviews on the exemption issue, I wanted to use the platform afforded by our event to show the public, particularly American Indian youth, what can be accomplished by someone with a challenging background who puts his mind and heart into it.
Taking up a spot as an unqualified golfer would inspire the youth?
My goal was to celebrate, not detract from, our wonderful tournament, its players and fans. The focus this week should be on the great game of golf and enjoying the exciting competition on the course. I do not want my participation to distract from our Championship and the talented professionals who have chosen to compete here. So, I have decided to withdraw from my place in the field and to award it to another golfer to play this week. I hope our golf community will join me in celebrating a terrific week of golf and all of the fun and festivities which our team has worked so hard to present for them here at Turning Stone.”