Lack of Americans at European event puzzles Donald

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Two weeks after the best Europeans came over to Florida for the PGA Tour’s premier tournament, the favor is not being returned at the European Tour’s flagship event. This is nothing new, and while the BMW PGA Championship offers big world ranking points, there’s a massive discrepancy in prize money.

England's Luke Donald is disappointed top U.S. players aren't in the BMW PGA Championship.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
England's Luke Donald is disappointed top U.S. players aren't in the BMW PGA Championship.

The Players Championship had a $9.5 million purse. Wentworth has a prize fund of about $5.7 million. And those PGA Tour players who want to play this week can always go to Colonial for a $6.4 million purse.

Luke Donald wishes it would attract more Americans, though he understands the reasons not to play.

“You don’t have to travel far to play in a $6 million event at a great course at Colonial,” Donald said at Sawgrass. “But I’ve always been a proponent of to get the most out of your game, it’s important to travel and to experience new places. I think at least go try it once, and if you don’t like it, fair enough. But it’s a big event on our tour. It’s considered our Players Championship of the European Tour. And I would have thought that would incite some interest in some of the big Americans that would be exempt for it.”

Wentworth takes the top 50 in the world ranking, and past major champions.

Two of three Americans in the field do not have full PGA Tour status this year – former PGA champions Rich Beem and Shaun Micheel. The other is former British Open champion Ben Curtis, who did not have a full card until he won the Texas Open in April. Curtis had planned to play in England, and even though his hometown event at the Memorial is next week, he did not back out.

TIGER’S NIECE: Cheyenne Woods is following in her uncle’s footsteps – at least for management.

Excel Sports Management says the niece of Tiger Woods has joined Mark Steinberg’s stable of clients. Steinberg has represented Woods since 1999, first at IMG before joining Excel last summer.

She was an All-American at Wake Forest, where she set the lowest scoring average in school history and won the ACC Championship by seven shots.

“She had an outstanding career at Wake Forest and has the chance to be a major star on the women’s golf scene,” Steinberg said.


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