Tiger and Rory set to go toe-to-toe in Turkey
But should top players be competing in unsanctioned tournaments?
A new matchplay event in Turkey which will promise "the richest prize in golf" has attracted stars such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy - but it remains unsanctioned by any existing tour.
The new World Golf Finals tournament will boast a prize of $1.5 million for the winner this year, and by next year this will have risen to a staggering $2.5 million. Woods is reported to have signed a three year deal to play in the event, with other top names including McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose all set to contest the tournament, which begins just nine days after the Ryder Cup.
Despite the prize money and the players set to compete, it has been reported that the existing tour bodies are unhappy with the arrangement. Certain concessions have been made to alleviate their concerns, with the event taking place from Tuesday to Friday so as not to clash with either the Portuguese Masters or the Frys.Com Open.
Despite the prize money and the players set to compete, it has been reported that the existing tour bodies are unhappy with the arrangement.
However, the event will inevitably raise questions about how much power
the tour bodies have over keeping star players. In a world where certain
sports is becoming franchise dominated, there will be concerns that
more of these one-off, big money tournaments could have a negative
impact if they start to pull players away from tour events. There is
little doubt that money rules sport, and if franchise events offer large
prize money sums then they will continue to attract the elite stars.
For Turkey, the event will be seen as a stage on which they can prove
their Olympic credentials to the world as they look to bolster their bid
for the 2020 games. With golf set to feature at the Olympics from Rio
2016, securing the signatures of top name stars such as Woods and
McIlroy could act as an important boost to the bid.
Additionally, the tournament has also aided the introduction of a new
Turkish Open tournament, which will become a part of the European Tour
from next year.