Wednesday, October 14

The 'Turkey 8' or Why Rory Is in Napa This Week

HERE WE GO. A NEW PGA TOUR season tees off tomorrow at Silverado Country Club in Napa, California. The tournament is the Frys.com Open. The headliner is World No. 3 Rory McIlroy. Justin Rose, Charl Schwartzel and Webb Simpson are also in NorCal.

Wait a second. Why would McIlroy cross seven time zones to play in the season opener when he leads the Race to Dubai standings and still has three European Tour events on his schedule?

ESPN.com's Bob Harig reported:
McIlroy is basically required to play the tournament. Three years ago, he was among eight players who entered a non-sanctioned big-money exhibition in Turkey called the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final. 
The others were Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel, Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson and Matt Kuchar. 
PGA Tour members are required to seek a release to play in conflicting events, but commissioner Tim Finchem did not grant it without payback. In return for allowing the players to compete in Turkey, Finchem extracted a guarantee that each of the "Turkey 8" would return to the Frys tournament at least once during the next three years .
I can just hear Commissioner Finchem fielding the request to play in the Turkey money grab three years ago.

"Would you like Frys with that?"

(H/T Bernard Daily)

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