It’s never fun for a global mega-sport when
its No.1 player bites the hand that feeds. At the risk of making an obvious
joke, it must be worse when that player is a Tiger.

Golf is lucky, when you think about it.
Tiger Woods, having just turned 30, and apparently settled for a long stay in
the top ranking, doesn’t often feel the need to weigh in on the sport’s
politics or day-to-day issues. He seems happy enough to get on with chasing the
sport’s fabled records, and let administrators do what they do.

Until now. Like many in golf, Tiger has
been left shaking his head by a decision to allow the US PGA Tour to host all four
World Championship events from next year. These were events specifically designed
to take the world’s best golfers to new fields, to impress new audiences, to
develop the game. Now the same fans who go to every other US PGA Tour event,
and the three US-based majors, will be at these events too.

The
Guardian

reports that the World No.1 was unhappy, with Woods saying: “Golf is a global sport now. Look at the world
rankings – there are players from all over the world, and that’s indicative of
how our game has changed. We have a responsibility to play round the world and
to grow the game as much as we can.”

While many other top-ranked golfers earn
their fortunes without leaving domestic America, Woods has proven he doesn’t
mind getting on a plane, recently playing in China and Japan.

USA
Today
reports that, overnight Australian time, he shot a 5-under 67 to be three off
the pace after the first round in Dubai, a day after flying across 12 time
zones (immediately after winning in San Diego on Sunday).

Then again, the prize money in Dubai is
$US2.4 million – and Tiger is reportedly getting $US3 million just for showing
up. That’s a good cure for jetlag right there.

Peter Fray

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