The Guardian: Ernie Els say Euro Tour should have kept Rory; Quote from Rory

Good piece from the Guardian.  I agree with Ernie.  The US PGA Tour, pardon my French, crapped all over Rory in their zest to prop up Woods’s moribund career and image.  Here’s a snippet:

“I think he could be like a Seve because he’s so exciting to watch. He’s a pretty happy kid, he does good things off the course. He’s got his stuff together. To have a person like that on the European Tour for most of his career is something that I would have absolutely made happen. I don’t care however it would have cost, I would have made it happen.”

Another Guardian article has this quote from Rory:

“At that time, not being a part of a winning team, I was probably driving out of here thinking: ‘Why did I stay amateur for two days of golf?’” said the world No1.

“But looking back at it? It was one of the best experiences I had. And not just in terms of the golf but the people that you meet, the friendships you make and the friendships you keep. It’s something that you don’t appreciate then but whenever you move on a few years, that stuff is just as important.”

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13 Responses to The Guardian: Ernie Els say Euro Tour should have kept Rory; Quote from Rory

  1. TellItLikeItIs says:

    To be the best you have to beat the best….and the best aren’t playing in Europe; at least not regularly.

    Golf is becoming more of a global game and top tier players, like Rory, are spreading their appearances across the globe.

    Rory darn near splits time between tours playing the best events on both sides. Why play Crown Plaza when he can play BMW Championship? Why play Nelson when he can play Irish Open? Why play wherever the heck the PGA Tour plays early in the year when he can play Dubai? 3 of the 4 majors are in the states so he’ll be over here for those.

    On the flip side, why play Malaysian Open when he can play Riviera? Africa Open or WGC? AfriAsia Bank or Players? Spanish Open or Quail Hollow?

    Now, if Ernie is saying the tour should spend millions upon millions in advertising along with paying him millions just to show up to events, then maybe he has a point. Otherwise, the best competition and the most lucrative events, as a whole, are stateside.

    I wouldn’t necessarily blame the PGA Tour as much as I would blame “his team” and sponsors. You see as many Rickie and Jordan commercials as you do Rory, probably more. That kind of tells me someone (not only the PGA Tour) isn’t doing their job.

    • lannyh says:

      What did you expect his team to do, give Gary Williams and Damon Hack a hundred-dollar handshake? 🙂

      The American golf media was all-in with Tiger Woods. They still are. Let Woods shoot within three shots of lead at Memorial on Thursday, and GC will go All Tiger All The Time mode.

      But, the thing is, Rory still maintains his Euro Tour status, so it would probably just be a matter of playing a couple more events. I mean, Lahiri, Warren, Jaidee, et al, were all in Florida in the weeks leading up to Augusta.

      • TellItLikeItIs says:

        No, I’d expect his team and sponsors to market him, and not through the talking heads.

        When Tiger was at his peak we saw all those Frank the headcover commercials. There were, like, 20 of them. and I think you had some Gatorade ones and the Gillette with Federer and I think some soccer dude among others.

        Rory, we’ve had some earbuds thing, the Hall o Fame Omega commercial that they ran into the ground and maybe a couple others including the Nike commercial that included Tiger, Michelle,and Charles.

        When you talk about the PGA, I could be wrong but I feel like they do a decent job of including him in the promos leading up to events he plays in which I’m not sure what more they are supposed to do.

      • lannyh says:

        They push Rory now, but they clung to Woods as long as they could. Even at Augusta, when Rory was going for three straight majors, they obsessed over Woods.

        His sponsors could run more commercials, but they aren’t free. Woods got the free publicity from the American media. Consider this: Whatever Rory’s management team needed to do could be said of every American player who built some momentum. I mean, I don’t know that Jimmy Walker’s managers could get the American media to push Woods aside for Walker more than, oh, five minutes a week. 🙂

        I don’t mean to defend Rory’s team. I just think they faced a Sisyphean task, what with the American media so in bed with Woods. (By the way, I think Rory is quite popular in most other nations, and has been for a while.)

      • TellItLikeItIs says:

        So then it goes back to not ripping the PGA, but ripping the media instead.

      • lannyh says:

        I guess I’m not sure what “then it goes back” is supposed to mean. And I’m not sure how separate Tim Finchem is from The Media. Finchem and the golf media both have recently been pushing the meme that “Tiger will be the big story in ten years even if he doesn’t win.” That’s a darn close paraphrase of Finchem, and it jives with recent Feinstein among others.

      • TellItLikeItIs says:

        At the end of the day, Rory just isn’t that interesting to the masses and no level of pumping him up, even Tiger levels, won’t change that fact.

      • lannyh says:

        Well, you could also say, “At the end of the day, golf just isn’t that interesting to the masses.” I think what you’re saying is that Woods was a social/political story. Had Jack Nicklaus been black and Tiger Woods white, Woods would have been “just another good player.”

        I would also say that when the American golf media asks every player — at THOSE player’s press conferences — how they think Tiger Woods will play, that there is little the sponsors/management of said players can do. That’s the kind of thing I was getting at. When the Rory Era had already begun — after Augusta/Congressional 2011 — the American media persisted in asking Rory question after question not about himself but about Woods.

  2. Sports-realist2 says:

    The golf/sports media assumed/expected/counted on Eldrick doing exactly what Jack did…..It’s funny how they RARELY mention Jack, but actually assumes every so-called ‘great golfer’ MUST somehow equal or match Jack’s Major run at 40 plus years old……Ofcourse, we know that MOST golfers are done winning majors by their early 30’s…..Arnold Palmer was around 35 with his last major win in 1964…Woods last Major win was also around 32 years old in 2008—and steroids played a role in that one……

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      I’m also sure Nike’s money played a role in Rory making the PGA his primary focus…..Perhaps Rory and his agent weighed the numbers of the European tour and found that the Nike contract was STILL more lucrative than anything the Euro’s could have offered(even with appearance fees)……

    • RealtyCheck says:

      The media folk talk about what the masses are interested in; it’s called ratings.

      I don’t recall who the big names were exactly in the NBA back in the late 90’s but one of the biggest stories was Michael Jordan when he was in Washington; IN WASHINGTON!

      To use Lanny’s example. LeBron is the huge story in the NBA. Meanwhile, Timmy Duncan and the Spurs were quietly running off 5 championships.

      LPGA – Natalie Gulbis anyone?

      Jimmy Walker? One of the hottest players over the last 20 months but no one talks about him…..because the masses don’t care.

      That may piss off the core golf fans but the media don’t care about that when it leads to more dollars in the revenue column. It’s business, nothing personal.

      • lannyh says:

        Well, it comes down to the separation of church and state, i.e., are the journalists doing the journalism, or is the marketing department doing the journalism? Think about those Sunday supplements with the word “advertisement” showing the “articles” which were actually paid ads.

        Think about the L.A. Times article earlier this year about journalism being more than “feeding the cattle.”

        If you think a golf journalism is a branch of the Nike marketing department, then Golf Channel should put “paid advertisement” on the screen when they go on and on about Woods.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Journalism is dead Lanny. When you realize that a journalist who scrapes by telling the truth, versus a “journalist” shilling for corporations for a much better living and wider coverage, you will finally realize that ‘media’ is nothing more than an arm of the advertisers. This extends far greater than sports coverage and it would be wise of your readers to understand these facts.

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