I imagine Lee Westwood woke up this morning in a rather bad mood, having just finished dead last at the Tour Championship that concluded yesterday. The Ryder Cup is this week, and Westwood can’t be encouraged by his 15 over par performance a
t East Lake during the PGA Tour finale. I would like to think his mood improved somewhat when he remembered that he made $128,000.00 for his efforts and a $500,000.00 FedExCup bonus for finishing tenth in the final Cup standings. I don’t know about you, but I’d be hard pressed to find anything wrong in my world on any Monday that found me $628,000.00 richer.
Six figure last place money is just the first of the perks granted to those 30 pros that make the Tour Championship. Just making the top 30, and thus qualifying to play in the Tour Championship and FedExCup final, means you automatically get invited to all four Majors, all WGC events and all the invitational tournaments the following year. Your endorsement worth goes up, or is solidified, and you’ll have more opportunities to rake even more cash. Life is very, very good for those select players. So Lee Westwood shouldn’t feel too bad today, at least about the money. He might want to worry about his game, though.
Brandt Snedeker, on the other hand, has to be thrilled with both his pay day and his play from the Tour Championship. Snedeker closed the deal yesterday on a 54 hole lead for the first time in his career, and with his 3 shot win, took home 1.4 million for the Tour Championship and 10 million for finishing first in the FedExCup. He’d been playing well ever since his abysmal performance at the PGA Championship, so it’s not like his victory should surprise anyone. Even so, the talk going into the Tour Championship was all about Rory and Tiger, as it should have been. But golf, more than any sport, is a game where the favorite usually doesn’t win, something I would’ve been well advised to remember when I made my fantasy picks last week.
I make no secret of my love of Snedeker. I tout him in this blog whenever I can find an excuse to do so. I love his style of play and his demeanor on the course. Unlike many professional golfers we see, Sneds seems to be having a good time out there. Nevertheless, last week, overcome by venality in my pursuit of the championship of our office fantasy league, I went with Tiger, rather than staying with my (mostly) season-long practice of taking guys flying just under the radar, or picking personal favorites. As I made my picks on day one of the Tour Championship, my cursor hovered only briefly over Snedeker’s name before moving on to Tiger. I abandoned my personal favorite for the pundits’. Forgive me Sneds…
Anyway, the Ryder Cup Starts this week, so The FedExCup and Tour Championship, barely 18 hours in the books as I write, are but distant memories, at least for the fans. I doubt Sneds will soon forget the 11.4 million he scraped yesterday for winning the Tour Championship and the FedExCup, but I doubt he’ll be focusing on money this week. For one thing, there is no money. The guys are playing for pride, for country and for their respective teams. And of course renegotiated endorsement deals and bonuses based on having made the team.
Crass capitalism aside (which I’m all for by the way), I think every player in The Ryder Cup wants to win with every fiber of his being and cares not one whit about the fact he’s not getting paid. The Ryder Cup is that big and it’s that important to the players. It should be important to you, as well. I for one intend to support team USA by watching every minute possible while sporting one of my newly-designed “Sned Head” tee shirts.
Stay tuned for Ryder Cup news and weird stuff you won’t find anywhere else. It will be a great week.
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