What's the problem with the Australian government paying part of Tiger Woods's appearance fee? It doesn’t look good.
That’s the argument made by Australian opposition party politicians who oppose the government footing half of the $3 million Woods is being paid to play at the Australian Masters in Melbourne this week, according to The Australian newspaper.
"Victorian families are desperately short of hospital beds, police and trains, and taxpayers' money should be spent on these urgent needs rather than appearance fees for golfers," said Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu's spokesman.
Greens candidate Greg Barbour agreed, saying the fallen star wasn't worth it and "just about anything would be a better use of the funds."
However, officials counter that the government made a $34.3 million return on its investment last year through increased tourism.
Victoria Tourism Industry Council chief executive Todd Black said those who objected to paying Woods from the public purse should enter "the real world."
"You sometimes have to spend money to make money," Mr. Black said. "When Tiger came to Melbourne last time, he attracted 35,000 high-spending overseas and interstate visitors.”
(Photo: Tiger Woods arriving in Australia on Tuesday; Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)