The organizers of the inaugural Turkish Airlines World Golf Final may not have gotten the results — or weather — they had in mind. But they sure got plenty of promotion.
Take Tuesday, where the proceedings started with a little WWE flare. As Derek Lawrenson of the Daily Mail starts his write-up:
Big-time golf in Turkey got off to the most unedifying start imaginable with the organiser accused of butting a photographer who was trying to take pictures of Tiger Woods.
As so often happens when the American visits pastures new, Woods' presence on the first tee created an almighty commotion. What doesn't normally happen is that a photographer ends up with his glasses broken and then goes marching down to the police station to file an official complaint.
It should be pointed out that Ahmet Agaoglu, chairman of the Turkish Golf Federation, strenuously denied butting the cameraman working for the Cihan News Agency. ‘He pushed me and I pushed him back and he fell over,’ said Agaoglu. But the police will inevitably be involved, raising the possibility that Woods might even be called on as a witness.
After Tiger's first round loss — and, with the World No. 2 essentially facing elimination from the round robin if he loses his second-round match — we can only guess how much it would take to get Tiger back to Turkey. A court order might help.
Things didn't get much better for Agaoglu after the headbutt. As mentioned, Tiger lost to Charl Schwartzel by a shot. And Rory McIlroy "lost interest" after a wayward shot led to a triple bogey in his match against Matt Kuchar. So much of the bloom is off the Rory-Tiger showdown that initially stirred up excitement for the event.
We'll see how this plays out. On the course, and in the courts.