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« Rory Starts His Foundation... | Main | Shock: Estimates Of Rory's Nike Deal May Have Been Exaggerated »

How Times Have Changed In The Middle East: Tiger "Not Worth" $3 Million

Mai Akkad reports the disparaging comment from the Qatar Golf Association president suggesting Tiger is not worth his $3 million appearance fee for the Qatar Masters, and it looks like some outlets took this as a put-down of Woods.

“Tiger Woods demands $3 million just for an appearance, if he were to compete in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters - which is not worth paying for a tournament of $2.5 million prize money,” Hassan al Nuaimi said.

I see it as sign of the Middle East events either coming to their senses or joining the reality based economic world. Thoughts?

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Reader Comments (34)

No-one else gets an appearance fee in excess of the entire prize purse. I think that is the point Hassan al Nuaimi is making. There is something distasteful about a player collecting more than the entire field on the right side of the cut, no matter how he performs. (Ask a Kiwi). And the old argument about how much he brings in at the gate may not fly any more, at least not everywhere. I would venture Rory Mac has far more appeal these days in the Middle East than Tiger.

It will be interesting to see if any other foreign fields take up the same attitude. Depends on his season, I suppose. If he returns to being a major winner, maybe his price will hold. If not, well, they will at least offer him whatever they are paying Jason Dufner.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
no 3 million???? then youuuu aint getting no coke!
01.10.2013 | Unregistered Commentersmails
Tiger's on the downswing of his career...he's a washed up has been also ran who's made himself inaccessible to the masses. I wouldn't pay shit to have him at my tourney...but then, I don't have a tourney.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered Commentergreg c
Ghillie, on October 22nd Tiger and Rory played a 1 day exhibition in China. The appearance fees were $2 million for Tiger and $1 million for Rory.

A couple weeks prior to that Tiger collected a $3 million appearance fee in Turkey, Rory's was $1 million.

To answer Geoff's question, the total purse of the Qatar event is $1 million less than that of the Puerto Rico Open. Last year Paul Lawrie won Qatar and collected $465,000, George McNeill collected $630,000 for winning Puerto Rico.

The point being, Qatar is a minor league event and their bankroll is nowhere near big enough to afford the likes of Tiger (or Rory for that matter)...guys like John Daly, Hunter Mahan and Jason Dufner are the type of neighborhood Qatar can afford to be shopping in.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
More misleading going on, apparently. Tiger never approached these guys, they approached him, same as when I approached the Porsche on the sales floor and saw the price. No money, no soup for you. Why publicly whine about the details of a private conversation. Is that good business, anywhere??
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEnigma
Apparently the new thing in tournament directing is that when you have no shot of getting Tiger to come to your tournament you knock him instead, and then enjoy all the free publicity. This is exhibit b, exhibit a of course is the Australian PGA.

Some context, the guy was asked why Tiger wasn't coming, & it's far cooler to say he's not coming bc I don't think he's worth it, then admit the reality, which is Tiger was never going to come to Qatar over the payday in Abu Dhabi (he was never going to do 2).
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterElf
@Enigma - not the issue. The issue is that back in his "Family Man" days, there was no argument that he was worth $3mil - now, apparently in the eyes of Qatar, there is.

If Tiger (or his agent) quoted $3 mil, he was interested in playing. Pre 2009, there was essentially a waiting list have him show up for $3 mil. No longer. There is not enough demand elsewhere - thus he would have been willing.

Times of changed - obviously.
Qatar can afford what it wants. It sponsors a lot of high end sport, and golf may just not be as important there as, say, football.

It used to be the poor relation to Dubai, and then it raised its game a bit and got more of the top players who routinely went to Dubai to stay on, as it was relatively close by. But I think Ab Dab has rather taken the wind out of its sails -- it was somehow shinier from the get go.

But it still gets a pretty good field most of the time. I don't care what Puerto Rico pays -- it's still Triple A. Players on the ET (and visitors) will stay on for Qatar or take time off or travel to the vicinity of their next event -- Tiger to Torrey, etc. -- depending upon the rest of their schedules in the major leagues. Nobody plays every week.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
Smacking, Turkey just paid him $3 million in mid-October and two weeks later China paid him $2 million for 18 holes! Clearly demand is still there. Additionally, Tiger collected $3 million to play Abu Dhabi in 2012 and I betcha he collects another $3 million when he shows up there next week.

Obviously nothing has changed.

BTW, is there another professional golf tournament (of consequence) that week somewhere else in the world which you are aware of that nobody else knows about? A line forming somewhere?

Qatar can't afford it, simple as that. This bozo in Qatar is not the axe in golf appearance fees by any stretch of the imagination, more likely he's the dumb money.

Rose, Dufner, Ollie, Sergio, Kaymer....these are the players highlighted on their webpage.

No Rory, guess he wasn't worth his asking price either?
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I've always respected DTS when it comes to golf-related financial perspective and information. I'm in the same camp as Enigma, DTF and Elf, the guy is elevating his negotiation skill by brushing off Tiger's no-show. If he offered $2.5m and Tiger took up the offer, the guy would probably say "Tiger brings the crowd, the ticket sales, and stature to the tournament". As for market rate for Tiger's appearance fee, assuming Tiger wins 2-3 tournaments and 1 major a year for the next 3 years, then the market rate is going to be driven by China. Bigger market, less reliance on the ex-pat community for ticket sales, and it being a non-caucasian society will lean more towards non-caucasian sports figure. I'm not trying to start a flame war, that is just the way it is in Asia. If Tiger blanks out and Rory take 1-2 majors instead, then all bets are off.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered Commenternguyenvuminh
And while we're at this, lets publicly humiliate all those other listed attendees and the apppearance fees they are recieving for playing. Why only Tiger? He's only playing in San Diego that same week
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEnigma
How much does he get to play Torrey? Oh, sorry no app fees in US PGA Tour events (smirk).
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
A tournament director could take the 3 million that would be paid to Tiger and dish it out to a number of other players and get way way more bang for the buck or mileage out of their money. Anybody that would pay Tiger 3 million just to show up in this day and age is out to lunch. Good for this guy for exposing more of the behind the scenes garbage of appearance fees that goes on, he owes Tiger nothing.
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
As a general rule appearance fees are not paid in the US but let's not forget that Tiger and Phil were both rumored to have been paid $1.5 million to show up at the Greenbrier last year -- and both missed the cut!!

Wonder if they'll give Mr. Justice a freebie this year to make up for it?

Press Agent, how would you spread that $3 million around? Keep in mind that Rory's new asking price is reportedly $2 million.

As for Qatar and the dumb money thesis, I see Jason Dufner is playing their event next week.....I am a huge fan of Dufner, love that golf swing and demeanor, but whadya figure his fee it? What's the opinion on what he's worth in that respect? $50k? $100k? $350K?
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
DTF - Qatar can't afford it?

You are horribly misinformed:
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
DTF - "Qatar can't afford it"?
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
All I can say is how many players won more than 3 events last year? Only T.W. so all you haters no what you can do.
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterXmangar
Rory won more than three events -- all of them pretty noteworthy. Please remember golf takes placed elsewhere than in the Yew Ess Eh.

And I was advised this morning from a very reliable source in Europe that Tiger in fact entered Qatar and then withdrew his entry, presumably after the question of his fee arose.

I don't think that Turkey, a rookie event, meeting Tiger's fee is particularly relevant -- it wanted to start with a splash. (And seems to be very solvent -- it is now heavily committed to the ET's season-ending events -- pity it was not friendlier with Greece). And China has as ever its own agenda and economics.

As above: we will see who pays. And we will probably hear how much.Aside from the economics of it, there must be a few held noses when his name is even mentioned, but money usually trumps anything else, and certainly in golf, which appears to need all the help it can get (to sustain its inflated growth).
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
When you look at the gallery, and start to add up the number of fans to be divided in to the amount of money paid out in these ''appearance fees'' alone, forget about the actual purse--- it never works out. Spectators line up ''8 to 10 deep'' for 450 yards ( 900 when you consider both sides of the fairway- well, that is only 7 to 9000 people--- darn how much would a ticket cost! Over 300 hundrd dollars,, a lot of change, or maybe not for these unworking government paid citizens.

So I know there are (possibly) 4 days, and I know there are other fairways, players, etc. but the ''appearan e fee'' is not about the ''draw'' at the gate, it is about the ''other stuff''- you know, the dinners, the passing the paper under the sall taking a dump next to TW, no brown M&M's other dictates of the contract that wins TW as your bud for a few days-- Corporate America does this every week in the guise of swponnsoring a golf tournament, which they do, but th CEIEIO's and such are eating chips out of the bag with their golf heroes for just a few million of their shareholders dollars----

It is a complex thig, this want to schmooze with famous people. This ''it ain't worth it'' dude must have had his feelings hurt, or maybe TW refused the paer undr the stall, and the glory hole in it :)
01.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Its the media agenda folks. Every time Tiger gets ready to tee it up, we get this nonsense. The fact is, in order to elevate Rory as a box office bonanza, which so far has utterly failed, they have to take out the current and future King. Hey add up all the other appearance fees and ask if maybe they should give it to the purse. Why all the focus on TW??? If the line is he doesnt have the ratings pull he used to, well, everyone but a few idiots here know thats just dead wrong. And he's only won Torrey 6 times, one more to 75, 8 less to 83
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEnigma
Qatar has the highest per capita income in the world.

They could afford Tiger more easily than Abu Dhabi.

It just looks like they don't want to waste their money.

Which probably explains why their income is the highest per capita.
01.11.2013 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
Ghillie, that's a funny one! Do you really believe the story/assertions your "source" has put forth is even remotely plausible? I guess anything is possible, but what you've described is highly improbable.

Now, I know that just me saying so isn't going to do it so whadya say we dig in a little?

What we know is...

(i) for over a decade Tiger never ever entered an event prior to the Friday before in order to prevent a media storm just in case he had to withdraw. He has modified this somewhat for the PGA Tour in the last year but I am certain it is an issue about which he remains extremely sensitive.

(ii) we also know that Tiger has a widely reviled, but extremely experienced and financially competent agent, who leaves nothing to chance.

(iii) additionally we know that Tiger, and Steiney, know the difference between a 1 and a 3.

(iv) lastly, we know that the very second any tournament gets confirmation of Tiger's entry they instantaneously blast out a worldwide press release (which has been pored over for weeks, just in case) announcing his participation in the event.

So, what your guy is saying that (a) Tiger just up and entered Qatar well in advance and (b) Steiney said "don't worry about that fee fellas we'll sort it out later" and (c) all that time the tourney kept his entry top-secret and (d) then when it came time to sort out the fee the tourney said "wait we thought it was $1 million not $3 million" and (e) after they couldn't work it out Tiger withdrew....

....and ALL of this STAYED a secret from everyone, but your "source" has been brought over the wall?

Is that what you are saying? That's sure what it sounds like! I will guarantee you Steiney would never ever confirm Tiger's entry into any appearance fee paying international event prior to having an ironclad contract for said fee executed and filed in quadruplicate -- period.

As for the $3 million, you can rationalize the sources of funds all you want but the bottom line is at least twice in 2012 a $3 million appearance fee hit Tiger's bank account, as well as a $2 million fee for one day. Additionally, Tiger collected $3 million last year from Abu Dhabi and I'd say the odds that he turned up for less money this year are exactly 0%. Clearly there are a number of events, with the money, that think such a fee is worth it and to suggest he's not able to secure such a fee is just factually incorrect.

One more thing, earlier you said "I would venture Rory Mac has far more appeal these days in the Middle East than Tiger." If the info coming out of Australia a couple months ago is accurate Rory's fee is now $2 million, if Tiger is less popular and his fee is more why wouldn't Qatar have zeroed in on him in the first place? Why not get Rory instead?

Out of curiosity, what kind of crowds does this Qatar event attract? Sea Island crowds? Scottsdale crowds? Something in between?
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
DTF - are u living on unemployment or disability insurance? Where do you get the time for these manifestos?

I hope you didn't quit your job to defend all things Tiger. I am sure that Tiger just doesn't care that much - about you or issues like this.

Sorry to break this to you.
@Ghillie I don't know about your source, but I do know that Farmers has been talking to Tiger's people and confident that he' end up there for a while now. I also have heard that part of the Abu Dhabi deal is that it is an "exclusive" i.e. he's not playing anywhere else in the Middle East.

I would also contend that it is less a waste of money to pay Tiger 3 mil (or Rory 2) then Duffner or whomever $500k (or whatever they're paying) - I'm just not sure what sort of return you get for Duffner
01.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
elf - you might have watched too many episodes of the Simpsons.

It is Dufner, not Duffner
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRob
Smacking, wrong,. and wrong. Keep guessing, I will let you know when you hit the right formula ;) It is true that I do have a lot of free time on my hands! Right now the weather is a bit limiting but generally speaking I pretty much do what I want to do, all of the time -- isn't that the goal? The nap I woke up from about 30 minutes ago was truly superior! Other good news is I think tomorrow we are going to get in that elusive 7 mile hike with a 30lb pack, very rare in January around here.

As for defending Tiger, I've not said anything good or bad about Tiger. Matter of fact, if you read closely I really didn't even take issue with the "not worth it" part of Mr. Qatar's statement, in fact that part is debatable. But somehow people jumped from "not worth it" all the way over to "he can't get $3 million and never will again" (paraphrasing there) and that's just not the case.

In hindsight though you have a point, I probably could have skipped all the other verbiage and simply said....

....nothing's changed because he's getting $3 million for playing Abu Dhabi next week.

(but then what would I have done to fill the rest of that time?)
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I don't see who's saying he will never get it (the fat fee) -- I certainly didn't. But as Tiger has never played Qatar, there must have been some discussions entered into for his name even to arise. I still maintain that the organiser's position that a fee in excess of the total purse is wrong makes perfect sense.

My source has often been the source of seemingly incredible statements all of which have subsequently been borne out or substantiated. I tend to trust him. He is seriously connected.

It don't make no never mind to me -- all three mid-East events have very attractive fields as far as I am concerned.
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
Wow, Dell- Smackng tF, is implying if YOU are worth it!!!!!

We all know the answer to that!


I have to go--The Great Race is starting, the real one, with Jack Lemmon.
01.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
As an impartial reader and acting as someone who can weigh both sides to an argument, I must say that Smacking TF, while making a few points, is getting his arse "smacked" by DTF's recitation of logic and facts. Smacking, stop, you're embarrassing yourself with your increasingly shrill rebuttals.
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterT. Holman
T.Holman - I agree. Ring the bell, this spectator is not liking the spanking DTF is putting on Smacking and it's getting bloodier by the minute. Player preference aside, DTF sure can dig out the numbers and more importantly, he can sure analyze.
01.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenternguyenvuminh
With all due respect to DTF's impressive number crunching of the deplorable treatment of PGA Tour officials by PGA Tour executives, I have never seen him write a critical word of Tiger Woods.

He is generally a valued contributor, but on balance, he is a Tiger Fan Boy.

And, that's okay.

But we have to keep that in perspective when he is trying to spin himself as an objective observer.

At least with Elf, she is clear with us where she stands with respect to Woods.

BTW, for the record, I am a Tiger Woods Antagonist. So, if I try to spin things as objective, call me out.
01.12.2013 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
On Eldrick issues, Del the Funk's objectiveness is akin to CNN's objectiveness. It's all in their minds and they expend a lot of energy trying to convince us.
01.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
Tiger Woods behaviour in his personal life has been deplorable. There is no way anyone could possibly construct a thesis defending said behaviour or minimizing the devastating impact it's had on his family as well as the stunning betrayal of Elin (regardless of what might have been going on between them personally). Tiger failed miserably in those areas, this much is fact.

In that context...Tiger is an asshole.

Yal'll feel better now?

PS....Smacking, you familiar with the concept of "self insured"?

PPS...ADG, "objective" is a word that should be eliminated from your vocabulary -- you're banned from using it!

PPS...Lenox Hills was quite nice today given the latitude and time of year, hope y'all had a good one!!
01.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF 'bout that Wolfpack!
01.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF

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