according to this article, he is...
Welcome to July 4 week at the Greenbrier Classic, a third-year event that has become the living, breathing embodiment of the American way. Which is to say, when in doubt, throw a wheelbarrow of cash out there on the table and hope somebody takes the bait.
Indeed, Greenbacksbrier this week has a field that includes the two biggest draws on the tour, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, who seemingly stand to make a healthy chunk of change by doing little more than showing up -- regardless of how they play.
Granted, the contract particulars are as hazy as the air during a Civil War battle, but the smoke surrounding the Woods and Mickelson appearances has been hard to avoid. While the deals and dollar figures remain unconfirmed -- and it will likely stay that way -- multiple sources have repeatedly cited the same numbers: Woods is drawing $1.5 million and Mickelson is getting $1 million.
Sure, a strict pay-for-play arrangement has, and remains, against the rules on the U.S. tour. Which doesn't necessarily lessen the confusion, if not the eye-rolling. Cough, cough.
Whatever the details, and regardless of how much the high-profile pair will be expected to sing for their supper by participating in a corporate clinic, or appearing at a cocktail party, the practice of signing players to lucrative personal-services deals has widened the gulf between an increasingly stratified tournament product. One that's separated and sorted by the sponsor's wallet size.
Lamented one middle-tier tournament director, who feels as though he is firing spitwads against Justice’s billion-dollar battleship: "We don’t have the resources to throw another $1 million into the budget to buy players. It just doesn’t fit our tournament model ... It’s not a fair fight."
It’s all the latest rage, really. In essence, select tournaments have become evermore clever and resourceful in finding ways to attract top players while skirting, albeit barely, the appearance-fee regulations. For the sake of propriety, let’s call them inducements. Two of the tour’s deep-pocketed sponsors, Zurich and Royal Bank of Canada, over the past 2-3 years launched what have become known as ambassador programs, wherein a handful of notable players have been signed to endorsement deals.
Forking over a hundred grand apiece to select players isn’t against the rules, as long as the lone requirement in the contract agreement isn’t to merely show up and play. That would connote an appearance fee, and as most fans know, they are verboten in the States, although not on other global tours.
So, while 10 or so players with RBC logos on their shirts -- likely to include Luke Donald, Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar, Ernie Els and Hunter Mahan -- will be hopping on a chartered plane after the British Open to fly halfway across the planet to tee it up at the RBC Canadian Open, other tourney directors are trying to dogpaddle as best they can.
"I think the tour is complicit, frankly," one source with three decades of involvement with players, the networks and the Tour observed.
That tends to draw a strong reaction from Camp Ponte Vedra. Tour communications chief Ty Votaw said that only broader agreements with sponsors are green-lighted and added that the tour does, in many instances, review contract language between players and sponsors, though he declined to offer specifics as to which deals, or what percentage, are closely scrutinized.
The tour uses a very narrow, if not convenient, definition of "appearance fee." If a player has deeper business dealings with a corporate entity beyond taking cash to play, then he's generally free to ink a personal-services deal for whatever dollar figure he can command. If this sounds mostly like semantics, well, the line forms here.
As one very high-profile international player put it on Tuesday, "This week marks a change. Appearance money [is being paid in the] U.S. but not in Europe."
After arriving Tuesday, Woods was not specifically asked if he was being compensated by Justice this week, though a local reporter did ask if Justice resorted to “pulling his arm” to get him there.
"What sold it to me was watching it on TV and seeing how players enjoyed it," Woods said unblinkingly.
Um, did he say "sold?"
Like a U.S. supreme court justice, I concur with your opinion Villagesgolfer. Under the rules of the PGA Tour, appearance fees are not allowed. My advice to readers of this thread is to dismiss this as only a rumor and hearsay. Tiger and Phil are using the Greenbrier Classic as preparation for the Open Championship later this month.
Not everything is about money when you are wealthy like those guys. :)
So true......plus they would have more to loose than gain in doing so......while they both have "life time membership" on the PGA Tour.....the consequences I'm sure would void that status!
Not on PGA Tour! Appearance fees have been paid for Asian & Australian tour events......
I don't think they got an "appearance" fee but they sure were inticed to be there. Benefits!!!!! I don't think Tiger would have played this tournament without incentives. And after Tom Watson makes the cut and makes a swipe at Tiger for missing the cut (TW) ( he did it indirectly) then I doubt Tiger will be back there. He and TW have no love lost between them