Tuesday, October 22

The Asia Swing Is a Big Money Thing



WRITING FOR MORNING READ, veteran golf journalist Gary Van Sickle described the PGA Tour's pot of gold in the Far East.
You might be wondering, as a fan and not a cynical media observer such as myself, why the PGA Tour needs tournaments in South Korea last week (CJ Cup), Japan this week (Zozo Championship) and China next week (HSBC Champions, a World Golf Championships event). 
This should clarify things: The purses for the three events are, respectively, $9.75 million, $9.75 million and $10.25 million. That's nearly $30 million in three weeks. Suddenly, the $50 million FedEx Cup payroll seems a little less gigantic than it did back in August. 
I hadn't thought much (or at all) about there being an Asia Swing. But obviously it's a pretty big deal as the worldwide golf tours compete for top sponsors and players. The PGA Tour wants a slice, a hefty one at that, please and thank you.

"The PGA Tour is a global organization," PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in the story. "We've got a global membership, and we are an important part of a global sport."

(Cha-ching, cha-ching.)

Van Sickle also wrote, "The money helps make the Asia Swing the third most significant swing on the PGA Tour."

How about that?

First is the West Coast Swing. Its seven events total more than $50 million. Next is the Florida Swing and its four tournaments worth nearly $36 million.

The old Texas Swing is no longer a swing since the events in the Lone Star state are no longer played consecutively.

Now, it's go east, young man. And instead of (or in addition to) "follow the sun," it's follow the money, which this week leads to Japan and the inaugural Zozo Championship.

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