It's become sort of a tradition for Tiger Woods: starting his season in one of two star-studded European Tour events in the United Arab Emirates and a seven-figure appearance fee. However, it appears that gravy boat has sunk.
Organizers of both the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship have reportedly refused to pay Woods' $2-3 million fee to appear at their events in 2015. For them, the boost his presence provides to either event isn't worth the cash outlay.
"Of course Tiger is still a huge name, but those tournaments are not prepared to bus their budgets any more, or at the very least spend their entire budget on one man," said a European Tour insider to The Telegraph.
For one Tiger, organizers of either event could snag two Rory McIlroys, whose appearance fee has been pegged at $1 million (though that will be on the rise with the summer he's enjoyed). There are plenty of other top-notch players who might deliver more value than Woods, who will be sidelined until December with a back injury.
That well may mean Woods' season begins instead at a traditional American starting place: the Farmers Insurance Open. However, if Woods schedule takes shape as many of his top-billed brethren might, the 14-time major winner may well wait until the Florida swing to kickstart the '14-15 campaign.