You know what’s a great way to make sure Tiger Woods never does you a favor? Call him out in public. And that’s exactly what the title sponsor of a World Golf Championships event did.
Giles Morgan, global head of sponsorship for HSBC, which sponsors the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in November, said Woods and other top players need to “respect” the event his company backs.
“I do think the tours – and I think the tours are working on this – should make sure that there is respect to the tournaments,” Morgan said this week in advance of the LPGA event in Singapore, which the bank also sponsors, according to a report in the AFP. “As opposed to playing in meaningless … money-making opportunities around the World Golf Championships.”
Morgan is referring to the six- and seven-figure appearance fees top stars can get for participating in events on other tours, including the Triple Crown in Australia and others on the Asian and European tours. Morgan would prefer the tours force top players to participate, which they cannot do.
“It’s up to the tours to enforce the criteria to their membership,” Morgan continued. “And we’ve expressed our position to the tours, which is that we know they can’t enforce their players to play and that’s fine, we understand that. But we do think that players need to be respectful of … these majors events (which) are really at the top and the pinnacle and the lifeblood of the sport. If you’ve got sponsors investing that level of money, the players should respect the calendar.”
While it can be easily argued that the World Golf Championships are actually hurting the sport as a whole, that’s another piece. Regardless of your position on the value of the WGCs to global golf, Morgan can be assured Tiger Woods will not be playing his event anytime soon — now, out of spite.