The amount of money they are playing for is staggering, almost indecent, yet the words of Rory from earlier on in the year seem to still haunt the whole staging of the finale. When he said that the European Tour is just a “stepping stone” to the PGA Tour, where the money is obscene all year round. The white walls of Wentworth shuddered in shock, the betrayal was now complete.
It was only eleven years ago when a Management Company, who had just signed Rory, leant on the Tour to allow him to play in a series of events through Sponsors invites. All of this was orchestrated so that he could side step the treacherously difficult Tour School qualifying. The Tour believing that if they helped the player in his fledgling years he would reward the Tour down the line. From the outside it looks like the Tour has had to learn an uncomfortable lesson; whilst they remained loyal the player in question, his actions seem to be less loyal.
It was only a couple of months ago Rory was again in the headlines when he said that he was “sick” of shooting sixteen under and finishing around fifteenth place, mainly because the European courses are set up too easy.
Yet he is comfortable to turn up and play for the huge amounts on offer by Rolex and the Tour. His comments are not without merit, it’s just should he be making them? If you’re not part of the solution you remain part of the problem.
The problem, as such, is that there is more money on offer every week in the States. The States has three of the four Majors, with every event having a personality, history in fact. The travel is easier too, everything within striking distance with NetJets or Marquis Jet helping the player jump onto a plane to the next destination. The PGA Tour can follow the sun, making the events, almost without fail, short sleeves de rigour.
So if you were a Tournament Professional why wouldn’t you play stateside. If you are going to win a tournament you want to place that trophy in the cabinet knowing that you beat the best that week, when you are on you are on and have the same amount of talent as the rest, the consistency may just be a little off.
And there’s the reason for a slight feeling of anti climax at the end of the long arduous ‘Race’ to Dubai. Only six of the top fifteen players in the world turned up to play this week. Unsurprisingly Rahm won, Fleetwood second and Rory lurking which accounts for three of the six.
The other reason for the nullified feeling of excitement is that there is no break. The European Tour will roll on in the next week to another event which will start counting towards the 2020 Ryder Cup. If there is a break then anticipation can rise, absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.
But you have got to love the game haven’t you?