Golf’s image has been tarnished this year. Sergio Garcia was paid $500,000 for appearing at the Saudi International and vandalised 5 greens; many including me were disturbed that so many golfers – multi millionaires all – were happy to take appearance money from a country with an appalling human rights record.
Matt Kuchar the golden smiling boy of US golf whose winnings to date total $38 million paid his temporary caddie a pittance of $4,000 when he won the Mayakoba in Mexico with prize money of $1.1 million.
Faced with a furore and barracking on course (“Go low Kuch, go low – just not on the gratuity ..!” shouted one fan) he backed down and finally gave him the $38,000 that his normal caddy would have received.
This weekend, at the Genesis at The Riviera course immortalised by Ben Hogan and various Hollywood stars like Bob Hope, we had to wait 20 minutes whilst Jordan Spieth played his ball which on many other courses would be out of bounds.
J.B. Holmes, the eventual winner, had all the time in the world to get out his putting guide but only did so after Spieth played.
I had backed Adam Scott. He was leading with Justin Thomas but slipped away after carding +5 on his final round. Still, with him seventh and Charles Howell III sixth, I could trouser some dosh as Betfair pays out till 7th place on an each way bet.
Charles Howell like Kuch has made a fortune without ever winning a Major.
Adam Scott had a problem with his putting after he was forced to give up the belly one but he is doing better on the dance floor. I put him in the same bracket as Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, all three are fine golfers but overtaken by younger and better ones like Justin Thomas and Joe Rahm.