Regardless, $20 million is a staggering sum to play for in one week. “The world of golf’s going to change massively in the next few years,” said one highly-placed European source with knowledge of the Dubai deal.
But maybe $20 million is not so staggering when you consider that the six gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have made a reported $1.5 trillion from oil in the last four years. That’s $1.5 trillion as in a 15 followed by 11 zeroes.
PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem said he was “delighted” at the reported size of the purse because, he said, the compensation levels for the world’s top golfers still “trail” those of athletes in the major team sports.
As to the $1.5 trillion figure, Finchem cracked, “maybe 20 million isn’t so much after all.”
It is, however, a remarkable thing that though golf courses are often in lovely places it frequently so happens that the beauties of the landscape are to be seen from anywhere except the course. Who, for instance, ever heard of a self-respecting sea-side course where one could get a view of the sea! One may hear it perhaps roaring or murmuring, according to its mood, beyond an interminable row of sandhills, but save with the artificial aid of a high tee one never dreams of seeing it. So it is at Portrush, in accordance with the best traditions, and only two or three times in the course of the round does a view of the surrounding beauties threaten our mental concentration on the matter in hand. BERNARD DARWIN