The news out of recent PGA Tour players’ meetings is perhaps not all that surprising. Per Rex Hoggard of Golf Channel, the world’s best club swingers want more money.
Specifically, in light of the USGA increasing the U.S. Open purse and the size of the USGA’s $100 million-annually deal with Fox, players don’t feel they are seeing their fare share of spoils.
And while further inflating the U.S. Open purse could be problematic (having one tournament where first place is 10x any other would upset a delicate ecosystem), players are looking into ways to whack up additional revenue.
On the table, apparently: rookie stipends and larger Web.com Tour purses.
“One player who spoke at the meeting and requested anonymity because of the potential for future negotiations said the concern goes deeper than simply a fair share of the TV rights, and that players want a say in future venues and how the championship is run, pointing out last year’s rules snafus at both the U.S. Open and Women’s Open.”
While the whole “outside organization” running everything related to a tournament does seem bothersome when the organization is as inept as the USGA, will players lobby for similar clout with the R&A (organizer of The Open Championship), etc?
Regardless, here’s the hot take on this situation: While professional athletes clamoring for more money is always odious, the reality is Fox is already forking over $100 million per year. The only question is how that money is divided. Should the blue-blazered muppets at the USGA stuff their war chest with it, or should more of it go to players, caddies, and supporting professional golf?
The latter seems the more just option by far.