The Tiger Woods show comes to New Zealand
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2002 New Zealand Open | Preview | 07 Jan 2002
Well it’s finally about to happen. After all the hype, speculation, scepticism and anticipation, Tiger Woods plays his first event in New Zealand at Paraparaumu this week.
Instigated and driven to a very large extent by his caddie Steve Williams, the appearance of Woods has taken this event to a level that it has not been anywhere near before.
There has been much criticism of the reported appearance fee of $US2,000,000 being paid to Woods but in his defence he has shown that when he does travel he gives plenty of bang for his buck. This is perhaps more than can be said for several others in the past who have taken the money and run. Just making himself available to play as much as he does worldwide is a reflection on the responsibility he sees as the world’s number one to take his game to the world. He deserves every cent he is paid and it should not be forgotten that there have probably been plenty of opportunities where he could have earned more that he has turned down but because of his relationship with Williams and his desire to promote the game internationally he will be in New Zealand.
Disappointing for the organisers has been the lack of leading world ranked players as a support act. It could be argued that if you have Woods, why do you need anyone else but there are only three other players from the top 100 in the world rankings namely Michael Campbell (28), Scott Laycock (75) and Peter O’Malley (76) playing the event. Craig Parry, who along with Woods and New Zealander Craig Perks, is the only USPGA Tour player in the event, may well be the one to take it to Woods.
Also of disappointment is the fact that four other New Zealanders who play the USPGA Tour are not in the field. Perfectly understandable for the likes of Michael Long and Phil Tataurangi who need to take advantage of every chance they get too play early season events on the USPGA Tour but neither Grant Waite nor Frank Nobilo will be at the Sony Open in Hawaii this week.