What if Tiger Woods came back at the Masters and no one cared?
That could be the case, if you believe the honorable folks in the ticket-resale business. The
New York Times’ Mike Tierney checked in with some ticket brokers to see
if Woods’s return increased Masters ticket prices (always the toughest ticket
in sports). The answer: Not so much.
But rates are not soaring at the same pace as golf fans’ feverish expectation to see
Woods swing a 6-iron for the first time on an American fairway since last fall.
Legal brokers — who acquire tickets to sports events, concerts and the theater, then resell them for profit — generally describe the Tiger bump as slight. Though Woods may be the most compelling athlete around, distancing himself from the field with his disclosure of “repeated irresponsible behavior,” the appeal of the
Masters for most is atypical in this celebrity-driven era.
“A single player doesn’t make a significant impact at this tournament” on prices, said Sam Soni, the vice president for procurement at the broker RazorGator, with offices in four cities, including Atlanta.
I’m not really surprised that Woods had barely any effect on ticket prices. People pay to see something inspiring or historic. Morbid curiosity plays better on television. Wie, Lies and Videotape The best take on Michelle Wie’s Rules violation at the Kia Classic on Sunday comes from Free Drop, a blog written by Rules official John
Vander Borght. You can find a recap of Wie’s shot and her penalty here.
Borght was one of the few commentators to give Wie the benefit of the doubt, and he has a good question for those who were quick to condemn her.
Here is my question for those who don’t agree. Let’s assume that the most honest player you can think of (Bobby Jones in my case) did just what Wie did in the hazard and claimed the he/she thought he was falling. Would you believe him or her?
If so, ask yourself why you don’t believe Wie. Is she inherently less trustworthy (I’m sure some will say she is)? Why doesn’t she deserve the same benefit of the doubt? What has she really done that is worthy of being branded a liar or a least a fabricator of a story?
Many years ago at my first US Mid-Amateur, I had a case where a player denied doing what I know I saw him do from 150 yards away. After a few minutes of discussion, the rover who was more senior than I was took me aside and let the player continue. He said to me, “If he is lying, he is the one who will have to look in the mirror tomorrow morning when he shaves.” If Wie was lying, she’d be the one to have to look in the mirror when
she puts on her makeup and know she did. But, who am I to judge that?
Borght should be required reading for all the glib, scolding commentators who teed off on Wie over this. Butch Harmon says Couples can contend at Augusta I’m getting a little uncomfortable with the golf media’s full-on Freddie Couples man-crush, and now his coach Butch Harmon is joining the hug. At the Shell Houston Open, where Freddie will test his game against the
kids, The USA Today’s Steve DiMeglio checks in with Harmon, who says that Couples is hitting the ball longer than ever.
“The way he’s playing right now, the way he’s hitting the driver and putting the
ball, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he contended at Augusta National,” Harmon said.